Hyderabad: Having coached Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden title last year, Tom Moody is eyeing a repeat as the Eagles gear up to defend their crown in cricket’s summer fiesta starting on Wednesday.
“We certainly hope we’re in the top four when it comes to the business end of the tournament,” Tom said at an interaction on Sunday.
The Australian is carrying no baggage from last year though. “I don’t think we look at it as a pressure. It was a privilege to win the final last year but this is a completely different tournament and we have added new members to the squad. To me it’s not just another chapter, but another book,” he said. Excerpts:
On the opener in Hyderabad: We haven’t been home as a team since we won the title so it’s nice for the fans that we’re playing against the side we beat in the final last year. We hope to get the same support from fans as last year as it really makes a difference.
On captain David Warner’s form: Not a concern. I think he batted really well in the last Test at Dharamshala, got a good half century and looked like he was getting some rhythm into his game. Dave is one of those players who are just one boundary away from destroying any attack. We’ve seen it before and will see him again jump out of the blocks quickly and put a few attacks on the backfoot.
On Mustafizur Rahman: We are expecting him to be here on April 7 (a day after Bangladesh’s series with Sri Lanka ends). Unless we hear differently from the Bangladesh Cricket Board we will continue to expect him.
(The Bangla board wants ‘Fizz’ to skip IPL in preparation for Bangladesh’s upcoming tours - a tri-series in Ireland with New Zealand as the third team from May 12 to 24, followed by the ICC Champions Trophy in England starting June 1).
The reason why we got Chris Jordan and Ben Laughlin was because we knew Mustafizur would be available for only a small part of the tournament. Both these guys have excellent skills that will enable us to have the option to finish games like we did last year.
On short preparation time: We are all coming together but are no different from any other franchise. There’s no team that has had every single player here two weeks prior to the tournament. I think the right decision was made to give Warner a chance to go home and recharge mentally and physically than getting him to Hyderabad and sit here 10 days for a camp soon after he finished playing a Test series. A number of other internationals have done exactly the same.
On Afghan players in the side: We’re excited about Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan who have been in terrific form over the year. They both add a lot of variety to the squad. Rashid is a unique leg-spinner who has troubled a lot of batsmen in all formats and Nabi is a mature allrounder who offers us the spin option.
On local players Tanmay Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj: We picked them because they are talented players and provide the depth in quality that we need with bat and ball on the domestic front. If you ask me if they’ll play the first game, it’s unlikely but it’s probably likely that they would feature in the tournament because you can’t guarantee one’s fitness and form in a tough schedule.