Sep 152013

Dhawan took over the reins of Hyderabad from regular skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who opted to play for Sri Lankan outfit Kandurata Maroons

Dhawan says he is aggressive from inside, cool outside (© IANS Photos)

Chandigarh: India’s new batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan is glad that he could fight the initial jitters and score runs early in his international career and said he would look to maintain his blistering form.

Ever since his international debut, Dhawan has been in rollicking form as he earned Man of the Series title in Champions Trophy in England and the Delhi Dasher said he would look to play smart cricket in future.

“Once you score big runs at the start of your international career, you get really confident because that is one part which is really tough as every player is nervous at the start of the career,” said Dhawan, who was recently appointed as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad, one of the four teams in the Champions League T20 qualifiers here.

“It’s good that I started off really well and I just want to continue the same form and play smart cricket so that I could be consistent. God has been kind and things have been going on really well for me and I would like to continue that way in future too,” he added.

The 27-year-old left-handed batsman took over the reins of Hyderabad from regular skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who opted to play for Sri Lankan outfit Kandurata Maroons.

Dhawan said: “It is a new challenge for me and I am really looking forward to it. I have been captain for my Delhi team. It’s a great feeling to be captaining the Sunrisers team, its really an honour for me and I am looking forward to do the job.”

Every captain has a distinctive style of leadership and when asked about his method of captaincy, Dhawan said: “I am cool and aggressive; aggressive from inside and cool from outside.”

“I want my team to enjoy in the middle, love that intensity, we have already got that, so its good.”

Besides Hyderabad and the Maroons, the other two teams are Otago Volts from New Zealand and Faisalabad Wolves from Pakistan.

When the coach was asked if it was a difficult choice to pick Dhawan after Sangakkara expressed his unavailability, Moody said: “It wasn’t difficult. We are fortunate as a franchise to have capable leaders within the group, both domestic and international ones.

“We have international players like Darren Sammy, Cameron White and Kumar Sangakkara, when he was with us. We are spoilt for choice with regards for that. With Sangakkara unavailable, this is an important stepping stone for us with regards to our relationship with Shikhar built for the future.

“His cricketing skills are unquestionable. He has shown what he is capable of doing. He has got natural leadership skills and its an area he has shown interest in developing.” Young Indian cricketers such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are already captaining Bangalore and Mumbai in the Indian Premier League.

Asked about this young brigade of captains, Dhawan said: “I guess we guys have been playing IPL for long. Then you get mature when you play for so long.

“With time, you get new responsibilities and I feel change is good, its good time for us and good time for me to be the captain and lead from the front.”

Moody said India is fortunate to have good emerging leaders like Dhawan, Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

“Obviously Indian team has got exceptional leader in M S Dhoni and you hope from India’s point of view, that he is around for a long time to come because he has shown what impact he has on the team,” Moody said.

“It’s great that people like Shikhar, Virat and Rohit are getting that exposure and the opportunity to lead. Who knows where the game goes in 6-12 months time and to have that experience and work with international players, work under pressure, whether its Champions league, T20 cricket or IPL, whatever it may be, its all important blocks for your (India’s) leadership of the future”.

Asked if his CLT20 team has the advantage by virtue of experience, Moody said: “No, I don’t think so at all. Qualifying round is a very very tough round. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand players (in CLT20) are going to be there.”

Moody, however, said that if the team had been playing at home in Hyderabad, they could have got the huge crowd support, which is a “huge advantage.”

He said: “The other three teams are very good teams. We know we have to play very well to qualify.”

Asked how it would be like captaining the best fast bowler Dale Steyn, Dhawan said: “It’s very easy. He knows everything, for me it’s not hard task. Everyone in the team is so professional, they know their job very well and it makes it easy for the captain. All team mates are very supportive.”

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Sep 022013
CLT20: Hyderabad dropped as a host for CLT20

The twelve qualifying teams and the group matches that were supposed to be held in Hyderabad, is now scheduled to be shared amongst Mohali, Ranchi and Ahmedabad. Hyderabad was ruled out as a venue due to security reasons.

In past tournaments, Hyderabad has also been dropped as a venue.  The Deccan Chargers who participated in 2010’s IPL, home games were played at Nagpur, Cuttack and Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium due to political agitations in the state.

MV Sridhar, secretary of the HCA stated in an interview, “Police had said that they will not be able to provide security for the qualifiers due to Ganapati immersions. And for the league games, they would take a call based on the prevalent situation.”

“So it was up to the CLT20 governing council to take a call.”

The  Andhra Pradesh state police reported that they would not be able to provide adequate security for the matches as they clash with the Ganesh immersion festival. The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) also stated that the question mark over security was only restricted to the qualifiers and they were confident the police would provide adequate security for the group games.


Altered schedule

September 17 – Faisalabad Wolves v Otago/ Kandurata Maroons v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mohali

September 18 – Kandurata Maroons v Otago/Faisalabad Wolves v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mohali

September 20 – Faisalabad Wolves v Kandurata Maroons/ Otago v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mohali

September 24 – Brisbane Heat v Titans/Trinidad & Tobago v Qualifier 2, Mohali

September 28 – Titans v Qualifier 2/ Brisbane Heat v Chennai Super Kings, Ranchi

September 30 – Titans v Trinidad & Tobago/ Brisbane Heat v Qualifier 2, Ahmedabad


Aug 102013
Sangakkara powers Kandurata to opening win

Kandurata Maroons 159 for 8 (Sangakkara 49, Tharanga 36, Dilruwan Perera 3-26) beat Ruhuna Reds 146 for 9 (Lanka 36, Prasad 3-21) by 13 runs

Kumar Sangakkara drives through the covers, Sri Lanka v South Africa, 5th ODI, Colombo, July 31, 2013

Kumar Sangakkara continued to be in top form, smashing 49 off 35 © AFP

Kumar Sangakkara’s ravishing international form continued into the second match of the Super Fours provincial Twenty20 tournament, as the Kandurata Maroons overcame the Ruhuna Reds by 13 runs. Sangakkara’s 49 from 35 drove Kandurata’s innings during the middle overs, before cameos from captain Lahiru Thirimanne and Nuwan Kulasekara lifted the total to 159 for 8. In reply, Yashodha Lanka and Angelo Perera embarked on innings that attempted to set their side back on course after early losses, but neither could muster a knock of enough substance to force a win.

Shehan Jayasuriya was starved of the strike while Upul Tharanga steered the Kandurata innings with a pair of off-side boundaries in the first three overs, and before Jayasuriya could kick his own innings into gear, he was run out for three.

Sangakkara then came to the crease, and if there were any thoughts that a lower-profile match would have dulled his hunger, Sangakkara lofted his third ball over cover, and did not allow his scoring rate to dip thereafter. A spate of singles followed that early boundary, as Tharanga struck two sixes off spin and then got out at the other end, but Sangakkara soon freed his arms as well, taking 14 runs off Kaushalya Weeraratne’s 10th over, and found regular boundaries off the other bowlers as well.

He fell in the 15th over, top edging Dilruwan Perera as he attempted to slog-sweep against the turn, but his demise brought Thirimanne, who played the sort of innings that might encourage the national selectors that he can be persevered with in the shortest format. Thirimanne struck two fours – inside-out over cover and behind point – and a slog-swept six in his 14-ball 25. Kulasekara turned aggressor after Thirimanne fell, and took Kandurata to what was a daunting total on a slow track.

Tillakaratne Dilshan hit two boundaries off Kulasekara in the first over of Ruhuna’s chase, but he was soon out nicking behind, and the struggling Kusal Perera handled domestic bowlers no better than he has played international attacks in the past two months. Two more quick wickets united Angelo Perera and Lanka, but their 41-run stand only promised revival instead of producing it. Some hard hitting at the death from Dilruwan Perera made the end result appear closer than the match had been.

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