IPL 2022: SRH Team Strategy: Tom Moody Bets Nicholas Pooran, Abdul Samad To Get Well

Sunrisers Hyderabad has revamped his outfit after finishing at the bottom of the rankings last season. And in anticipation of yet another edition of the IPL, the team’s head coach, Tom Moody, is optimistic about his side’s chances in the tournament.

Skippered by Kane Williamson, the team relies heavily on the likes of Abdul Samad and Nicholas Pooran to impress.

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Sunrisers Hyderabad only retained Williamson and two uncapped players – Umran Malik and Samad. What was the strategy to enter the auction?

We have clearly kept two very exciting uncapped players and our captain Williamson. So that allowed us to go into the auction with a big wallet. We were looking for a few things. One, of course, was a balanced squad that gave us the flexibility and options to play a number of different combinations depending on the circumstances, and by then we had a reasonable idea that the tournament would be in Mumbai. But that was the short term view, but the long term view was also looking for a team that we thought would be competitive not only in the first year of this new cycle of contracts, but also in the long run. Because, of course, there’s a bit of uncertainty about whether we’ll have a future auction system. So we were very aware that we were looking at players who could not only make an impact now, but also have long-term prospects.

After an unforgettable season last year, what is the strategy for this edition of the tournament led by Williamson?

Our strategy, like any franchise, is to create an environment where we feel we are competitive in all situations and under all circumstances. Obviously this year is a slightly different 10-team tournament. So that’s why the talent – both national and international – is definitely a bit thinner. So it’s about making sure that we effectively combine both the domestic talent and the international talent according to the conditions in which we play and the opposition (against which we are fighting).

Like previous editions, the team features a mix of young Indian cricketers and overseas stars. What are your thoughts now that the tournament is being held in Mumbai and Pune?

It all depends on the shape. We have an idea of ​​what the basic framework will look like from our side. We went to the auction to build that and then expand from that framework. Even though the four locations are in the same condition, in the end all those fields play very differently.

We have day games, we have evening games. We have games in Pune, which play differently than in Mumbai. So I think we would be foolish to go into the tournament thinking that it will be very predictable when it comes to the conditions. So there will be a lot of traffic on those fields and during the tournament as it unfolds. So we could see spin come to the fore more as the tournament unfolds. But again, you need to have that open mind and flexibility in your selection.

The team has invested heavily in Pooran and Washington Sundar. Did such a decision take into account the importance of solving the problems in the middle class after last season’s debacle?

We obviously went hard for Ishan Kishan very early and we pushed Mumbai to its limits above Rs 15 crore. So we’ve gone out of our way to keep it secure, but unfortunately it’s gotten to the point where it can really impact the rest of your auction strategy. We didn’t expect it to go this far.

Missing him, we recognized that the wicketkeeper batting role was a crucial one and Nicholas Pooran was the next best option as we wanted that batting role to be a southpaw as well. We kept right-handers in our top order – Samad and Kane. So we had to have that difference regarding that selection. Yes, we paid a high price for Pooran, but the auction tells you that’s what the rest of the franchises think of him too. Someone is not going for that prize unless other people believe that player is of great value and Pooran is one of the most exciting foreign talents in his mid-20s.

Last season, the middle class was a concern. As the head of the coaching unit, how did you plan to tackle the problem?

The middle order has been vulnerable in recent years. We were full of experience, both internationally and domestically, at the top of the order, but we lacked that kind of depth in the order. Abdul Samad is another season wiser and more experienced and we have also understood that hitting at five, six and seven is the hardest in T20 cricket.

Most people can bat at the top and express themselves with the fielding limitations in the PowerPlay, but batting on five, six, and seven is difficult and takes time to learn the art of batting.

Abdul will continue to work to grow into that role as he is one of the few homegrown cricketers who can just knock the ball out of the ground from both the front and the back. And to complement it, we recruited people like Pooran. So we feel like we have a slightly more balanced side that gives us the opportunity to go a little deeper.

Rahul Tripathi was also an important choice for us. He is a very successful IPL cricketer and can bat anywhere from one to five. He is also a dynamic outfield player, so he adds a lot to our side.

Williamson has been injured and has not played competitive cricket for a while. What is the score?

Kane has been hitting balls for over a month. And he’s excited to be playing games again. He was actually hoping to play a little earlier when he was restricted by the New Zealand medical team. But I think the long-term plan is probably the safer way to go for him. So he is very confident in his recovery.

Long form cricket that aggravates the elbow more than the short form so we don’t expect him to have any major problems. But like any player in the tournament, anyone can get injured at any time. And you have to have backup plans and we feel like we have the necessary players who can fill in.

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