Wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha, who hit an unbeaten 36-ball 79 against Kings XI Punjab, albeit in a losing cause, says he is enjoying batting at No.3 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and would like to continue at the same position as it gives him an opportunity to build the innings.
“I would love to continue batting at No.3. I am enjoying that responsibility of building an innings and scoring when needed the most. When I play at No.5 or 6, it gets difficult to hit from ball-one, whereas I have the time to shape my innings when I bat at the top,” said Ojha after the Sunrisers lost to KXIP by six wickets.
“Bowlers at the death, at times, bowl in the block hole, which gets difficult for a batsman to hit; whereas, at the top of the innings when the field restrictions are still on, there is a scope to score more freely,” he said.
Chasing a huge 206 for victory, the Punjab top-order pulled off another run feast to reach the target in 18.4 overs, and Ojha said he would have been happier had the result gone Sunrisers’ way.
“I enjoyed my batting a lot. I would have loved it even more if the result had gone our way, but things like these are a part and parcel of the game, and one needs to move on. We know we gave our 100 per cent on the field and we are happy with that,” he said.
Ojha said his coach Tom Moody had asked him to play as freely as possible.
“Our coach, Tom Moody, asked me to play as freely as I could. He also told me not to get into any kind of pressure or get into a thought that I had to get a lot of runs under my belt. He just advised me to focus on the day and play with a lot of freedom. I had a good opportunity today and I am glad I made good use of it. I was just asked to be positive and back myself,” he revealed.
30-year-old said he learnt a lot while batting along with his Hyderabad teammate David Warner and by watching KXIP’s Glenn Maxwell.
“I think it is a pleasure to bat with David Warner. He is a very busy player who always looks to take a lot of singles and doubles while batting. He also hits the odd six or boundary every now and then, which takes away a bit of pressure from whoever is batting with him,” he said.
Heaping praise on Maxwell, Ojha said, “It is a good learning curve and a joy to watch the way Maxwell plays. There is a lot to learn, given the way he bats and the way he gets into various positions while hitting those sixes.”