Yuvraj Singh out of first two weeks of IPL

With or without Yuvraj Singh, Tom Moody feels Sunrisers Hyderabad have it in them to go all the way in IPL 2016 © Getty Images

Yuvraj Singh is set to miss at least the first two weeks of IPL 2016 as he continues to recover from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the World T20 on March 30.

“Sadly, Yuvraj will be out for a couple of weeks but we don’t know how long that is going to be,” his coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad Tom Moody told iplt20.com . “A player like Yuvraj Singh is important to any team. He is not only a match-winner with the bat, but he is a very useful bowler in those middle overs. Going into the auction, we were aware that we needed to strengthen our middle order. Hence, we targeted players like Yuvraj and Deepak Hooda to give us that depth in our middle order and they complement what we already have in our squad.

“What we are aware of this year is building a great depth and strength in our squad and by securing people like Aditya Tare, Tirumalasetti Suman who has had a lot of IPL experience in the past, we feel that we have got that depth of talent to be able to cover for any circumstance and Yuvraj’s absence is one of them. With Yuvraj being injured at this stage, you don’t know what is around the corner – you need that depth in the squad.”

Moody, who has been at the helm since Sunrisers came into the IPL fold in 2013, believes the team isn’t far off from producing their best result in the tournament. The team secured a playoff berth in their inaugural season, but ended sixth in two subsequent seasons. Last year, Sunrisers needed one win from their last two games to secure a berth in the playoffs, but lost both games, one of which was a truncated affair against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“We weren’t that far off. We had a very good season last year,” Moody said. “If it wasn’t for a couple of unfortunate situations in our last two games here at home, against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, we would have ended second. We take a lot of confidence out of last year. If we repeat the way we played last year, and look to raise the bar just a little bit, then I am confident that we will be playing finals cricket. We are confident that we will do it with the squad that we have retained and we are also pleased with the players that we secured in the auction. We are feeling in a strong position.”

This time around, Sunrisers have strengthened their pace attack with a lot of left-arm seam options in Ashish Nehra, Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran to complement Trent Boult. “Yes, we were keen to have some left-arm options in our pace attack and we also felt that in shorter form of cricket they are effective,” Moody reasoned. “At the end of the day, Nehra and Mustafizur were introduced into our squad because they are top-quality, world-class bowlers. Whether they bowl left or right hand it doesn’t make any difference.

“It is about what they bring to the table as bowlers. They are all different types of bowlers and all have various strengths at different phases of the game and we will be selecting accordingly. It is great to have someone like Nehra who has so much experience and is in such good form at the moment. He is the senior bowler in the team.”

Moody singled out Mustafizur for special praise. He was one of the bright spots in Bangladesh’s winless World T20 campaign, picking up a five-wicket haul in their last league game against New Zealand. “I met Mustafizur during the World Cup and he seems a good, bright young kid,” Moody said. “He will be looking forward to learning and looking forward to the opportunity.

“He has taken to big game cricket quite easily and we have already seen that in the World Cup stage and in the Asia Cup, big games against South Africa and India in the T20 World Cup. I feel he is more than comfortable and happy in big match situations. We have full confidence that he will adapt and adapt quickly.”

As happy as he was with the bowling line-up, Moody underlined the importance of having a stable opening pair. “Any top order is important to a side, whether it is here in Hyderabad or any away game; your top order takes a huge responsibility in the first phase of the game,” he said. “If Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner can get you off to a good start like they did last year, then nothing like it. I am very confident.

“We have got a good balance of experience and youth in this side, which is important. We have got some experienced campaigners in Yuvraj, Nehra, Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and some young talent that will work off those experienced players. We have an exciting balance.”

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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