A breakdown of the questions you voted on will appear here.
Pulse connects you to the
Get closer to the this season by using Pulse while you watch the LIVE matches. Pulse asks you a range of questions relevant to the LIVE action as it unfolds. Your votes will be featured in the telecast in real-time and debated by the commentators, players and stars. If you've got a great question of your own, we'd love to hear it.
With Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch and David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have one of the most dangerous top-orders there can ever be. However, their first few matches in Pepsi IPL 2014 gave an impression that there is little or no solidity to bind the team together if two of the mighty three fall cheaply.
To remedy that situation, SRH management took a punt and sent the young Lokesh Rahul at No.3, above David Warner, to play the anchor of the innings. The 22-year-old was surprised to have been given the promotion, but in the end, he proved the SRH think tank was right.
Rahul played his part perfectly, scoring 46 off 40 balls and putting up a 111-run partnership with David Warner (65) for the third wicket. After SRH’s thrilling 15-run win over MI, Rahul described his new role in the side and revealed what he wishes to borrow from the Sunrisers’ top-three and add in his own batting.
Here are excerpts from his exclusive interview:
You were promoted at No.3 today and you totally vindicated the decision.
The team management showed a lot of faith in me by promoting me up the order. They told me yesterday that they were planning to send me one-down, although I felt that I have been scoring at a run-a-ball and it is not enough in the T20 format and so I will be pushed further down the line-up. But the coach told me it is okay for me to play my game and take my time. He said batting at No.3 my role would be to rotate the strike and help the team lay a solid foundation so that people like Warner and Sammy can build on it. I am glad I could do that today. In the last couple of games, I got 20s and 30s and threw my wicket away, which wasn’t helping the team. I was sent higher up the order so that I have more time to pace my innings.
What is it like to watch someone like David Warner bat at the other end?
It’s thrilling! I would sit at home and watch the Ashes, I watched the Australia-South Africa series where he demolished the Proteas. I hoped some day I could bat like him and today I got a chance to build this partnership with him in a very crucial game. For a youngster like me there’s so much to learn. In the training, it’s different. It’s in a real match, you get to learn how players like him plan their game, target the bowlers and what runs in their mind.
What is it that runs in his mind? What did you guys talk about during your partnership?
People who watch him bat think David Warner is just an aggressive batsman who goes bang bang bang. But in reality, there is a lot of thinking and planning that goes in his innings. Today, he took his time initially before upping the ante. He believes in his ability and knows he will make up with big hits later in the innings. He’s among those players who can score 20 runs off an over at will.
Does he bat right-handed in the nets as well?
I think he batted better than I did right-handed. I was struggling to get Malinga away and there he goes, takes him on batting right-handed and smashes him over what could be a third-man for a right-hander. We’ve seen him bat right-handed in the nets and he really puts in a lot of work in that aspect. He doesn’t just play right-handed but smashes the ball hard. To generate that kind of power with your wrong hand is simply amazing!
What is that one thing each that you’d like to take from the batting of Shikhar, Finch and Warner?
With Shikhar it’s about how calm he keeps himself in any situation. Also, the cut and the shots he plays over point and cover are wonderful. FInchy is someone who can hit the ball very hard. I haven’t seen many people hit the ball as hard as he does. He has a great balance at the crease, has a strong base and then launches himself. That is something that I would like to pick up from Finchy. As far as Warner goes, I’d love to be able to bat left-handed and smash the ball as hard as he does batting right-handed.
Before this game, he had played only one out of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s four matches in Pepsi IPL 2014 in which he returned 0 for 28 in two overs. But it was Irfan Pathan who stalled the rampaging Kieron Pollard in the last over to secure a stunning win against Mumbai Indians in the last match of the UAE leg.
After being introduced into the attack in the 16th over, Irfan finished with 2-0-10-2 as the Sunrisers registered a 15-run win.
Elated with his performance, Irfan spoke to iplt20.com about it after the game. He discussed his bowling plans and explained how different members of the SRH team helped him seal the thrilling win.
Here are excerpts from his interview:
Irfan, what a performance!
I didn’t bowl much in the previous games and I thought I might not bowl even today. But then, Pollard got going and that gave me an opportunity to bowl. This performance is going to take me a long way in the tournament. Coming back from injury is never easy, but when you start giving performances like this, the process of regaining your rhythm gets faster. Were you especially fired up today because of not getting too many chances in the past?
Absolutely! I am a bowler and I know what I am capable of doing. To be a bowler, you have to have that fire. If you don’t have it, you might as well just go and bat. I understand that you must earn the trust of your captain and show that you are improving continuously. Today, I had a good chat with Laxman bhai before the game. He said, 'No matter what you do outside the park, you need that fire and aggression between the 22 yards; that’s what counts'. That struck me. His words have always helped me out and they did today again.
With what plan did you go with to bowl?
There were a couple of people – Shikhar and Sammy – who wanted to tell me things and help me form plans. But I tried to keep my head clear. Then Steyn came to me and said, ‘Whatever you do, just make sure you focus all your energy in that’. Also, after Steyn bowled the 18th over, Shikhar told me I will be bowling the final over. That gave me the time to get prepared mentally. I decided to go with a clear plan of bowling the best yorkers I could and leave the rest to the batsman. Fortunately, most of the balls pitched nearly there and thereabout.
When you got Pollard out, did you think, ‘Okay, I have won the match for the team’?
They needed 20 runs from the last over, but guys like Pollard need just three balls to get 18 runs. Getting him out the first ball made the remaining five balls much easier. However, they could win it with a couple of sixes and fours and so I knew it wasn’t finished. But yes, with Pollard’s wicket, I thought the job was half done.
There would be so much you can pick from Steyn, but if I were to ask you to single out one thing, what would it be?
The energy that he puts in everything he does is amazing. In the training and especially in the matches, the amount of effort that he puts, he gives it all. That’s something to learn from him for any bowler, young or old.
Do the batsmen in your team help you improve as a bowler?
They do but one man who has really been helping me is Champaka Ramanayake, our bowling coach from Sri Lanka. He has vast experience and I get the feeling that he is going to make a lot of difference in my game. He is very similar to TA Sekhar sir, but when it comes to simulating game scenarios in training, Champaka makes them very simple. Also, he makes me work on a particular aspect of my bowling in every net session. There has not been a single session where I haven’t worked on something specific.
Will this bowling performance also help you gain confidence in batting and make you better equipped in finishing matches for the team when needed?
Honestly, my batting is pretty good right now and I am hitting the ball well in the nets. My bowling will keep getting better and better. Batting is easier when coming back from injury, but bowling is tough. So, in the next five-six matches, you’ll see that my bowling rhythm will keep getting better. For that I will need to play more matches; that’s the best way for me to improve.