The defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad got their 2017 campaign off to a perfect start on Wednesday night, registering a 35-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore on home turf in Hyderabad.
The main talking point was the performance of Yuvraj Singh, who made a 37-ball 62 to help the team reach 207 for 4 in their 20 overs, which proved to be too much for the opposition.’
However, there was one other contribution in the batting performance of the hosts which also proved to be crucial.
After David Warner fell early in the innings, Moises Henriques walked it to bat to join Shikhar Dhawan and pair had the task of resurrecting the innings to ensure the middle and the lower order did not get exposed too soon.
When asked if he was given any instructions when he walked out to bat, the 30-year-old said there was nothing specific that he was told to do when he went out to bat on Wednesday evening.
“No. Nothing specific. I just had to go out and play. It was unfortunate that David Warner got out early. It gave me the time to build an innings and I could get going after that and thereby help the team’s cause with the bat in hand,” Henriques told Sportskeeda in an exclusive chat on Thursday.
One of the aspects about Henriques’s batting which we have seen so far is that he is among the few Australian batsman who tends to read and play spin bowling very well. Asked if he did any drills to play slow bowling well, he admitted that there was nothing of that sort and added that as compared to some of the earlier matches, the track did not turn as much on Wednesday night.
"No. Not really. The pitch yesterday did not have much spin. It was not like the spin that you see during a Test match over here or during the recent Test series. Some were spinning and some weren't. It was one of the easy wickets to play on. During the IPL, there are only a couple of wickets that spin a lot and the pitch yesterday was not turning.
“Completely different conditions and situations to got out and play spin in a T20 game and a Test match. It is a bit easy to play spin or not get out to spin and in T20 cricket, you have got to keep the game moving forward,” he added.
Aim to do whatever I can to help team get home: Henriques
Speaking about the win on Wednesday, Henriques said that it was good to start on a winning note, but admitted that there was a long way still to go in the tournament. He also added that on a personal front, his goal was to contribute in whatever way that can help the team to win the game.
“It’s very important for us to win any game. Last year, we did not start too well, but this year we have. In a few days time, we need to start all over again and tick a couple of more boxes. We have just played the one game so far and a lot of cricket still left to be played.
“For me, it is to do whatever it takes, to try and get the team home. To win as many games as I can for my side. It could be either with the bat, or in the field in the form of a catch or with the ball, I always look to try and help the team cross the finish line,” he said.
One of the keys to the Sunrisers success in the past few years has been the manner in which Warner has led the side and Henriques showered praise on the left-hander for his leadership qualities.
“He is a very good captain. I enjoy playing under him. He leads from the front, both with the bat and in the field and also tends to make some smart decisions on the field with regards to the bowling changes as well,” he said.
Apart from the batting, the bowling of the Sunrisers and in particular, the spell bowled by Rashid Khan, was something that was also much talked about and Henriques said that he expected the leg-spinner to get better and better over a period of time.
“He took a couple of crucial wickets and he cracked upon the opening partnership and also got Travis Head out as well. I'd expect him to keep getting better and better. He is obviously so young and I am looking forward to see how he performs going ahead," he concluded.