IPL 2020: David Warner looking forward to SRH's opening game against RCB

Warner is feeling confident of middle-order improvement and overall good show from his team this season.

David Warner | TwitterSunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner, having arrived in UAE from England after Australia's white-ball trip, says moving from one bio-bubble to another for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is certainly not easy, but it's a challenge he and other foreign players realise they have to take head-on amid COVID-19 pandemic. 

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"Obviously is a very tough challenge But we are prepared and looking forward to the tournament," Warner said in his first media interaction before the tournament as quoted by Times of India. "Bubble life is very challenging. It is the hardest thing not to have family with us due to restrictions. But these are unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The BCCI and organisers have done a fantastic job by putting this up."

"Obviously the next few months will be challenging. In Australia, we can go out and play golf and drive a car. Hopefully, we can do some recreational stuff. But first and the foremost is that the tournament gets going. It makes a difference," added swashbuckling left-hander. 

Reappointed captain for this season, the 2016 IPL winner is excited to kick-off the campaign in Dubai on Monday (September 21) against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), a much-anticipated contest. 

"They (RCB) have a very strong team. Obviously, it is the first game, it will be 50-50. We are looking forward to playing against them," said Warner, who is also pleased to renew his opening duo with England's Jonny Bairstow for Sunrisers. 

The two were outstanding for their team last season at the top before they had to leave early for World Cup duties. While Warner made 692 runs at a strike-rate of 143.87 in 12 matches, with eight half-centuries and a ton, Bairstow smashed 445 runs at a strike-rate of 157.24 in 10 games, including a century and two fifties. 

“It’s good to play alongside him. We know each other’s game well. We have a good understanding like I have with Finchy for Australia. Looking forward to another good partnership with him," said Warner. 

Fantastic at the top, Sunrisers, however, have been found wanting with their middle-order quite a number of times. But the team did make some encouraging buys at the auction last December to resurrect that issue. 

Warner is feeling confident of better performances from No. 3-7, adding also that with him and Bairstow around, the middle-order batsmen have often not had the opportunities that they need to gain rhythm and form. 

"We did not give much of a chance to the middle order batsmen last time," he said. "We will do our job at the top of the order. They should go out and bat freely. If the wickets fall, try and put the pressure back on the bowlers. Move forward and if you suck up balls you will not help anybody."

Spin is expected to play a major role on surfaces in UAE, but as seen in the opening match where Mumbai Indians' (MI) spinners struggled to grip the ball in the second half against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsmen, the dew could really nullify their effect on any given day. 

"I think spinners will perform well but it depends on the dew. The first half of the game will probably spin but if there is a lot of dew around then it will be a lot of difficult to hold the ball."

"That will play a big role and if it gets cooler then you might not have dew. We have to wait and see. If it's a day game, definitely spinners will come into play. But a lot of good players play spin very well," Warner added. 

Talking about spinners, Sunrisers have one of the finest up their sleeves in Rashid Khan. Warner believes Rashid and the team's lead Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar make a formidable pairing with the ball which shall hold his team in good stead once again. 

"Bhuvi and Rashid are very experienced bowlers and are doing well. Obviously the upfront ball will swing here and in the middle Rashid knows the wickets inside out. Learning from bowl in dew. He knows what to do in dew. We have got a very balanced team.," the skipper concluded. 


By Kashish Chadha - 20 Sep, 2020

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