Shikhar Dhawan has heaped praise at fellow player Yuvraj Singh for his cameo in the win against Mumbai Indians at Visakhapatnam. Yuvraj scored an quickfire 39 of 23 which helped Sunrisers Hyderabad reach 177 batting first. The game was Yuvraj’s second post injury, due to which he missed the first 8 games of the season. In his return game against Gujarat Lions, he found it tough going, scoring just 5 from 14 balls. But this game served as an opportunity for him to return back to form. He along with Dhawan formed a 85-run partnership, which came of just 49 balls. And the partnership proved fruitful as MI failed to chase down the target, getting bowled out for a mere 92.
Dhawan, who played beautifully to score an unbeaten 82, heaped praises on Yuvraj. ”Once Yuvi paaji [Yuvraj Singh] was also set, we knew that we have to change the gears and get going. Yuvi paaji played amazingly well and the way he was striking the ball, especially (considering) he is coming back after injury, he was middling the ball really nicely. I was telling someone the other day also that hopefully he will strike big for us and he did today. Of course, that made a huge difference to reach our total,” said Dhawan, crediting Yuvraj for playing a major role in helping Sunrisers reach 177.
He also went on to praise his skipper and opening partner David Warner, who started the downfall of MI with a quickfire 48 at top. ”He is leading from the front and specially in first six overs, he has been the aggressor for our side. That gives us time to settle on the wicket and help us with whatever our team goals we would like to achieve. (It is) always good when captain leads from the front. He brings great energy on the field, especially as he is one of the best fielders too. So he is covering all the areas and strategy-wise with experience he has got much better. Things are working quite well for us.”
The bowlers complimented the batsmen brilliantly by knocking of MI for 92. And Dhawan had special words for the pace attack. ”We’ve got a good bowling unit. Things are working for us now. The decision of choosing the XI is up to the captain and the management. Of course we’ve got a great fast bowling line-up. When we feel that there’s no turn on a wicket, then we decide to go ahead with pacers. For turning pitches, we’ve got spinners in our squad who we can include in the playing XI. The captain and the team staff must’ve thought that there was no turn, and hence we fielded five seamers,” said Dhawan, justifying Hyderabad’s decision against picking a spinner for two games in a row.
Finally, Dhawan spoke of the fact that playing three games last season at Visakhapatnam helped them quite a bit. ”It comes handy when you have played few games out there. I remember that last game I played there against Sri Lanka (Dhawan scored an unbeaten 46 in the third T20I against Sri Lanka in February). Before that, last season, we played a few games. You get used to the ground and you know the conditions well, and still it’s a new challenge everyday. Whatever we planned, everything went according to that,” Dhawan said.