Mohali, 19 September
Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody has said that it is a pleasure working with such players as Shikhar Dhawan, who has a strong desire to improve his skills and to evolve as a cricketer.
The 27-year-old Dhawan scored his second consecutive half-century to lead Hyderabad to the main round of the Champions League Twenty20 competition as they beat Faisalabad Wolves last night.
“He has done a good job, he is going to blossom in every single game he plays, his leadership today was excellent. The positive thing about Shikhar is that whether he is captaining or batting, he constantly wants to improve,” Moody said, adding: “He is always asking questions, he is always wanting to develop his game. So, from a coaching point of view, it is a pleasure to work with people who have an open mind and are prepared to grow.”
With back-to-back victories, Hyderabad have joined New Zealand’s Otago Volts in the main draw while the Wolves and Kandurata Maroons from Sri Lanka are eliminated.
Continuing to praise Dhawan, Moody said: “He is very clear about what he wants to achieve, he is an extremely hard worker, he is very thorough in his preparation and when you have someone who has those professional standards along with a lot of natural ability, he is destined to perform consistently at higher levels.”
Moody also said Dhawan was lucky to have got an opportunity to show what he was capable of.
“It’s an opportunity as well; there are good players out there who do the right things and work hard, but don’t get opportunities. When he got his opportunity here in Mohali, he took it with both hands and didn’t look back.”
The Sunrisers coach said that, with one more game coming up tomorrow, the team will be looking to go through the qualifying stage undefeated “as momentum in Twenty20 is important.”
Moody said his team had expected the qualifying stage to be a challenging one.
“We think the teams left till this stage are very competitive and they have got a lot of experience. We knew we had to be playing at our best, which was never easy to do when you’d had limited preparation time. It’s nice to know that we have an opportunity to play in the main tournament,” he said.
Moody said Dhawan and JP Duminy’s presence made their team world-class.
“There is no doubt that having Shikhar available for the whole tournament for all the matches is an incredible bonus. You know you are talking of a world -class batsman. His form for the past 12 months or so has been as good as that of anyone else in world cricket. JP adds versatility to our side because he bowls off-spin and complements the two leg-spinners we’ve got.”