If the start and midseason of the tournament was nothing less than a dream for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) then one can say that the end is fast turning out in a nightmare. The Kane Williamson-led side had blown away almost every opposition to become the first team to qualify for this year’s playoffs of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). They won nine of their opening 11 games to make it to the last four.
However, since then it has been a downward journey for them. They ended the league phase with three losses on the trot. It was the worst kind of momentum they would have wanted ahead of the playoffs.
The team management was quick to dismiss any apprehensions suggesting that the momentum would affect their playoff tie. However, their losing run continued in the playoffs too.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat them by two wickets in a thrilling first Qualifier to enter the final and leave them on the verge of an elimination.
The Sunrisers are now up against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who will enter the game high on confidence. The Knight Riders won three games in a row to make it to the playoffs.
In the Eliminator, they thrashed Rajasthan Royals (RR) to set up a date with the Sunrisers.
As expected, speculations are on rife that Sunrisers’ poor run of games will hold them in bad stead for the upcoming game.
However, Wriddhiman Saha insisted that the team has moved on and are ready for the do-or-die clash.
“We have forgotten the past. Team has been told to forget the last match and get ready for this match. We are not thinking about the four losses. We know that two, three overs can change the course of a game in Twenty20,” Saha told reporters ahead of an exciting game,” he asserted.
Kolkata may be overwhelming favourites to seal a final berth but Saha said they are ready for the challenge.
“(KKR) started off well. We could not win because we lacked finishing ability. We will play to win tomorrow without thinking of the consequences,” he opined.
“We are not banking on the conditions. It may turn out that wicket behaves differently tomorrow. We are ready for any situation as we’ve played many matches against them. We know their bowling pattern. Ultimately will have to deliver on the field,” Saha added.
Wriddhiman Saha has been poor with the bat this season. He scored just 87 runs from 10 matches before suffering a shoulder injury.
In his absence Saha’s Bengal teammate, Shreevats Goswami has featured in five matches.
Speaking about his form, he said: “Maybe I was not up to the mark and could not deliver that affected the middle-order. The effort is there to come out of it and be back among runs.”
The second qualifier between KKR and SRH will be played on Friday at the Eden Gardens.