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Anand Subramaniam in Hyderabad 14 May 2014 - 08:55pm IST

NaMAN’s Land

Sunrisers’ new No.3 is enjoying his new batting position

“Naman” literally means paying respect or greeting someone. And surely, the KXIP bowlers were greeted, but not with respect when Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Naman Ojha was wielding his willow. Sent in to bat at No.3, Ojha, along with David Warner, stitched together an 81-run partnership to get the Sunrisers to a formidable total of 205.

The thousands, who had braved the heat, got their money’s worth as Ojha went about hitting sixes at will. The Kings XI Punjab bowling attack had been bulldozed and Ojha had taken centre stage as he cleared the fence on seven occasions. He brought up his first half-century of IPL 2014 for his new franchise and remained unbeaten till the end of the innings. His side did end up on the losing side, but Ojha believes that his side had given their 100 percent and they will now try to come back stronger. 

In this post-match chat with IPLT20.com, Ojha speaks about the batting freedom given to him by the Sunrisers and his wish to bat often at No.3.

Excerpts from his exclusive chat:

After your innings, you would have obviously loved to win.

I enjoyed my batting a lot today. 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 percent on the field and we are happy with that.

Batting at No.3 is a big responsibility. What was the message from the dressing room when you were asked to walk out to bat at one-down?

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 though 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.

You have played at different positions for the Sunrisers this year. Do you think the No.3 position suits you the most?

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. 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.

You have batted with David Warner a few times this season. What are the things that you have noticed and would like to learn from him?

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. While batting with him today, we did not discuss much; we only believed in playing to the merit of the ball. Our thought process was simple tonight – if the ball is there to be hit, hit it or else take singles and keep the scoreboard ticking.

Glenn Maxwell was in full flow even today as he has been throughout the tournament. What have you learnt by watching him bat?

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.

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