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Going forward, we would love to use Abhishek: Markram

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Last updated on 10 Apr 2023 | 04:49 AM
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Going forward, we would love to use Abhishek: Markram

SRH got their first win of the IPL 2023 but the left-handed opener hasn't featured in the last two games

Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their first win of the Indian Premier League 2023, thanks to Marco Jansen, Mayank Markande and Rahul Tripathi. SRH skipper Aiden Markram said it all boiled down to how they were able to execute their plans against Punjab Kings on Sunday (April 9).

It all started with Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissing in-form Prabhsimran Singh for a golden duck before Jansen got rid of Matthew Short and Jitesh Sharma in the powerplay. Once the powerplay was over, Markande (4/15) took over and dismantled Punjab’s batting line-up.

“It's quite hard to put my finger on anything particular right now but ultimately it all comes down to execution. We had our plans, we did our homework in previous games, those plans were in place but unfortunately execution let us down a bit,” said Markram at the post-match press conference.

“Tonight, especially from a bowling point of view, we started really well with the new ball. Took wickets with the new ball and we were able to put pressure on them. Then the ability to keep the pressure on them in the middle overs, especially with what Mayank did was great.”

Punjab’s skipper Shikhar Dhawan remained unbeaten on 99 off 66 but even then they could only manage 143/9 in their 20 overs. In reply, Hyderabad lost Harry Brook and Mayank Agarwal inside 10 overs but Tripathi (48-ball 74*) and Markram (21-ball 37*) took them over the line with close to three overs to spare.

“It wasn't completely a flat pitch but it was much better than what we had in Lucknow. It was nice to get on a pitch like this today. The pitch had something for everyone. There was a little bit of spin, the pacers could bowl their cutters and if a batter applied themselves, like Shikhar did, like Rahul did, they reaped the rewards. I don't think it was a 140-wicket, it was slightly more.

“That was just Rahul being Rahul. He played an incredible knock. I spoke to him briefly and he said he was struggling initially, so focused on the strike rotation and as soon as he got the feel of the pitch, he put the bowlers under pressure like he always does. Really happy for him because he takes the pressure off the batting line-up. Seeing him in form is exciting for us as a team.”

Not everything went perfect for SRH though. Brook could once again only manage 13 off 14 and now has only 29 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 74.4 in his debut season. The Englishman was promoted up the order against Punjab but even that didn’t work out.

“We all know Harry's ability, and he has been in great form for pretty much every team he has played for in the last 12-18 months. It's about him freeing up in the powerplay and hitting those shots like he does. He doesn't play an extremely high-risk brand of cricket and tends to hit those cricketing shots, but he does it really hard. We felt that if he could do that in the powerplay, we would be able to maximize the powerplay. That was the thinking behind promoting him up the order,” said Markram.

The biggest surprise though has been the absence of Abhishek Sharma, who was Hyderabad’s leading run-getter last season. The young opener was knocked over for a duck in the first game and hasn’t played since then. In his absence, Washington Sundar becomes the only left-hander in SRH’s top-seven.

“Abhi is certainly an important player for us, and the message I have been told is he is still coming back from an injury and they feel he needs a bit more time. Going forward, we would love to use him. He is a quality player, as we have seen in previous years, and will also help us with the left-right combination,” said Markram.

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