Ahead of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s clash against Delhi Daredevils, coach Tom Moody came out in defence of the middle-order batsman Manish Pandey, who has yet not delivered his best in this season of Indian Premier League. The right-hand batsman, who was bought for whopping Rs 11 crore at the auction has only scored 158 runs in 7 matches at an average of 26.33 with a strike rate of 112.86 in the tournament and is yet to establish himself as a key figure in the team.
But speaking to reporters, coach Tom Moody backed the 28-year-old and said that he can prove to be a match-winner for the team. “We are really pleased with the way Manish is going. He has fitted into the team exceptionally well and we know that he’s a match-winner. Not only with the bat, he’s a match winner on the field as well,” the former Australian international said.
The SRH coach further added that Pandey has already scored two half centuries in the tournament, and has been better than most middle-order batsmen in other teams. “Firstly, he has got two half centuries and it is probably a lot more than what other people in the middle-order have got in the tournament. Secondly, we have got to recognise the surfaces that we have been playing on,” he said.
He further went on to speak about the surfaces in Hyderabad which are not hard-hitting surfaces for batting and said that it is hard for batsmen to score runs on such surfaces. “We haven’t been playing on surfaces like the ones that we saw last night in Kolkata or the one in Delhi where it’s been an absolute run feast where batsmen can stand and deliver and where you can hit sixes for fun,” he said.
“Our wickets that we have had from Mumbai through to our home games here through to Jaipur, all wickets were based around 130-150. So it’s tough work for a batsman coming in the middle order. A lot of people don’t take that into consideration. It’s all well and good in saying such and such batsmen is batting really well, but look at what he’s batting on,” he further added.
SRH are currently on the top of the IPL table after winning 6 of their 8 matches in the tournament so far. They will square off against DD on Saturday.