A couple of decisions made by Sunrisers Hyderabad in its five-wicket defeat to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Thursday — promoting Amit Mishra to No. 5 and entrusting Ashish Reddy with the last over — figured prominently in the chatter among journalists. It was left to coach Tom Moody, at the post-match media interaction, to demystify the ‘surprise choices’.
“T20 is all about (providing an) element of surprise,” said Moody. “The Mishra decision was that he’s in good form and we wanted some power-hitters towards the end. As for Ashish Reddy, the gut feeling for (captain) Cameron White was that he had a good knock and there’s the thought that it could be his night. It’s certainly no fault of the bowler or the captain.”
Even as he suggested that his team had lost wickets early and ended “10 or 15 runs short”, Moody remained proud of the effort. “A lot of people thought it’s going to be a one-sided affair, but we showed we are prepared to fight regardless of the big names that Chennai have.”
The 47-year-old also lauded Dhoni’s counter-punching act. “He’s a very special cricketer and a special leader. Chennai and India are very lucky to have him.”
Later, CSK fielding coach Steve Rixon conceded his side’s death-bowling (it conceded 63 runs in the last five overs) was still a work-in-progress. “We are still looking for the right combination and we’ll continue to throw the opportunities around to different people. Dirk Nannes comes back into the equation and it looks like a different side.”
Rixon felt the wicket was slow and not as easy to bat on as Hussey and Dhoni made it out to be. He, however, emphasised the importance of batsmen “between one and five” contributing substantially. “We left too much work to be done at the end. Chris Morris and Jason Holder are very good strikers, but just going in and taking 14 or 15 (runs) on is very difficult.”