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We are not dependent on any particular individual: Moises Henriques

Henriques paid credit to the bowling unit's performances this year which has ensured that SRH did not chase huge targets.

Mohammed Siraj of Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad have done well as a team in IPL 2017 (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Sunrisers Hyderabad had to win their last two games to qualify for the playoffs. The defending champions have played well this year but their lax away record has been a big concern. They now travel to Bengaluru to play the Eliminator against 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders.

Like last year, Sunrisers’ fortunes have hinged to their bowlers; except that there has been a change of personnel. Last year’s star bowlers Mustafizur Rahman and Ashish Nehra have played just 1 and 6 games respectively. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a constant in both seasons and also, like last year, owns the purple cap with 25 scalps from 13 games. He has led the attack exceptionally well and has found ally in unheralded names like Mohammad Siraj and Siddharth Kaul besides rookie spinner Rashid Khan. These four bowlers have made sure that Warner’s Sunrisers do not miss bowlers like Rahman and Nehra this year.

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It is not that the batsmen have struggled, with 604 runs by Warner, the highest in the tournament so far, and 468 runs by his opening partner Dhawan; SRH batsmen have had a good run with the bat as well. But it is the bowlers who have made sure that their batsmen are not chasing too many runs.

Bowlers have stuck to their plans

Sunrisers all-rounder Moises Henriques, who himself have got crucial runs at No. 3, acknowledged the contributions of the bowlers this year. “The secret to our success has been our bowlers. Not only have they taken wickets, they have been economical as well. Their good form has reduced the pressure on the batsmen as we have got very little totals to chase. For example, Bhuvi has restricted the batsmen at the start and at the death with his immaculate control. In the middle overs, Rashid has kept the lid on the opposition with his varieties. More importantly, skipper Warner has complete faith in Indian bowlers and empowered them to go ahead and execute their plans,” Henriques told TOI.

Sunrisers fret over the fitness report of Yuvraj Singh, who sustained a hand injury last week. With Nehra already out of the season due to a hamstring injury, Sunrisers might have to field a depleted side against KKR in their knockout game on Wednesday. But Henriques has faith in SRH’s reserves.

“Mustafizur was our most crucial bowler last season. This season, he has played only one match. That shows that we are not dependent on any particular individual. When you have players like Mustafizur warming your benches, it speaks a lot about our bench strength. There is a healthy competition between us and it has propelled us to reach the last four. So we are not concerned with fitness issues,” Henriques said.

Henriques has been a journeyman cricketer as he has played for many teams in his young career. The 30-year old said that the environment of the team stood out with individuals understanding their roles and giving their team the utmost importance.

“There are plenty of stars in our squad, including the coaches, but they don’t have any egos. When you see players like Yuvraj remaining so humble and Kane Williamson always keeping under the radar, managing the team becomes easy. Even when you bench Nehra or Mustafizur, they completely understand. So I feel David Warner has one of the easiest jobs being Sunrisers’ captain and he can focus on his batting,” Henriques said.

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