Onus on top four to carry our batting – Warner

David Warner underlined the importance of using their available resources in the best possible way © BCCI

David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, thinks his side hasn’t played to potential over the last two years, but hopes they will be able to overcome two successive losses and bounce back into contention this year.

In 2013, they qualified for the playoffs, but drew a blank in 2014 and 2015. The biggest positive last season was Warner’s form. The opener made 562 runs in 14 matches to finish as the season’s highest run-scorer. A year on, he continues to remain the team’s go-to batsman in the absence of the injured Yuvraj Singh and Kane Williamson for the first half of the tournament.

Unlike the some of the other teams, Sunrisers have lacked firepower in the middle. Warner felt it was the responsibility of the top four to carry the team through. But the batting sans Warner hasn’t lived up to expectation. Interestingly, 41.27% of Sunrisers runs this season have been scored by Warner and Eoin Morgan.

“You are not going to get the depth as you like,” he said. “You have to use your resources smartly. And it is very challenging. For us, I don’t think we have a weakness there (in the lower order). It is about getting our top four to bat through 10 overs. That is where the runs come – top four is where the bulk of the runs come and I guarantee you No. 5, No. 6 and No. 7 will do their job very well then. It is something that we have to work on how we are going to get our balance right, how we can use our Indian players very well.”

On Saturday, Warner and Shikhar Dhawan faltered to leave Sunrisers in trouble at 36 for 3 in the first six overs against Kolkata Knight Riders. Tom Moody, the coach, felt that passage of play had a big say in the outcome. Warner, who continues to put up a brave face, agreed with Moody’s assessment, but was confident of being able to turn things around.

As much as he felt the batting needed to step up, he also underlined the importance of bowling well to restrict big-hitting line-ups. “Our bowlers have sort of missed the mark in the last two games – I felt that execution was not there,” he said. Sunrisers conceded 227 against Royal Challengers Bangalore and managed to pick up just two wickets against Knight Riders.

“We bowled probably one or two bad overs last night. We were very good upfront, but still haven’t had a complete game,” he said. “Last year and this year, we still haven’t worked out the complete game, the batters haven’t worked well with the bowlers. We have to try and gel and work together as much as we can.”

Warner was mindful of the damage a third successive loss could do to their campaign ahead of their match against Mumbai Indians at home on Monday. “We have go to really come out firing,” he said. “This game is going to be the game where we gel together. They are going to be hungry as well because they are in the same position as us. We have to be switched on and make sure we keep executing our plans, we can’t keep talking about it, we have to do it on the day.”

Even as he offered perspective on the team’s shortcomings, Warner didn’t shy away from pointing out his own mistakes. He backed away to cut Umesh Yadav, but was too early into the stroke and skewed a catch to short cover.

“I have got out a fair bit like that,” he observed. “You pick up the ball so early, but you try and place the ball. We always tell ourselves when we are trying to place the ball that you actually don’t go through with the shot and it sort of just pops up like that. I always walk off and wonder ‘why did I do that?’ Because it is hard when you are out there; some people understand that and some don’t. When you out there sometimes you go through with it and sometimes it just stops and you wonder ‘man, how I get out of that?’ I don’t even know sometimes.”

What hurt Sunrisers was the timing of his dismissal, which came four balls after Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed. “I was disappointed with the way I got out,” he continued. “I have had success doing the same thing against Morne Morkel. But the wicket from his end was bouncing. At the other end Yadav was getting it to skid through. I know there is a height difference, but still there was a little bit of inconsistency. That is where you talk about giving yourself some time. I know I did not give myself the time. I was a bit rushed, but sometimes in the game that gets you going, sometimes it can be your downfall as well.”

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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