It was not just another practice match as there were two teams, one of the coaching staff, led by assistant coach Brad Haddin, and the second one comprising active players, who emerged winners in the end.
The competition was meant to be a “short and sharp” affair between the two impromptu teams, and Haddin explained that they would be “having a bit of a throw-in competition”.
“We will get a bit in fielding out there and make a competition with two groups,” the assistant coach explained.
These were the rules of the game:
– There would be four targets with each team getting one chance to strike a stump.
– If a team strike a target then it would move them to the next level.
– The first team to strike all four targets and a bonus centre target would be declared the winner.
There were many speculations regarding the game as some said that players have the upper hand because they are young and can easily outclass the aged staff team, while some believed that the support staff team will win.
Left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami said that the players would win simply because “the average age of the support staff is 45”. On the other hand, slow left-arm orthodox bowler Shahbaz Nadeem reckoned that the support staff had the edge over the players.
“I thought it was a running competition. I see a few of the support staff who just keep running in the gym. So, if it’s a running competition then they will definitely win,” Nadeem said
Meanwhile New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson believed that they can beat their opponents on the basis of speed and agility.
“We should have them in speed and agility, but we will have to wait and see,” Williamson said.
SRH’s lead bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was full of confidence ahead of the contest. “The youngest support staff is around 45. So that does not make any difference,” he admitted.
Sunrisers’ strength and conditioning coach this season Mario Villavarayan, remained determined about his team’s chances in the competition. “I’m a soft target, is it?” he queried.
“Maybe that’s why they think I am soft. Let’s see how it goes,” he added.
The pairing of Abhishek Sharma and Priyam Garg were more than confident as they were eager to settle the score once and for all. “Today their misunderstanding will get cleared,” Sharma aired.
“We will clear this misunderstanding. Remember this!” Garg cautioned.
Once the contest began, Williamson, Manish Pandey and Bhuvneshwar Kumar hit the bull’s eye for the players, while Australians Trevor Bayliss and Haddin were on target for the support staff. However, former Indian batting legend VVS Laxman and Villavarayan missed the stump by whiskers, which benefited the players as they won the contest.
David Warner-led SRH will open their IPL 2020 campaign against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Dubai on September 21.
IPL 2020: Sunrisers Hyderabad full squad:
Kane Williamson, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mitchell Marsh, Fabian Allen, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sanjay Yadav, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Bavanaka Sandeep.
IPL 2020: Sunrisers Hyderabad full staff:
Trevor Bayliss (head coach), Brad Haddin (assistant coach), V. V. S. Laxman (batting mentor), Muttiah Muralitharan (bowling mentor), Biju Georg (fielding coach), Bulbul Ahmed (throwdown specialist), Theo Kapakoulakis (physio), Mario Villavarayan (physical trainer), Shrinivas Chandrasekaran (performance analyst).