After ending up as the runners-up in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) season 11, Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Tom Moody has hailed former India captain and Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni, rating him as his favourite cricketer. After topping the table in the league stages of IPL, Kane Williamson-led Hyderabad fell short at the finishing line as they finished second-best to Chennai at Wankhede.
In an exclusive chat with IndiaTV, the former Australian cricketer spoke about Dhoni, his stint as head coach with Sunrisers Hyderabad, their performance and also on India’s upcoming tour of England.
“Dhoni was remarkable in IPL 2018. His current form was nothing short of sensational. I’ve said this on many occasions that he is certainly one of my favourite cricketers. I’ve a lot of admiration for his leadership, his ability with the bat and his skills behind the stumps,” the 52-year-old told IndiaTV on the sidelines of CEAT cricket awards.
“But it is remarkable what he has done for the Indian cricket team. He has recaptured his form that he has a couple of years ago. For me, he’s box office hit,” Moody further added.
Despite the loss in the final to Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers coach Moody was overall satisfied with his team’s performance in the eleventh edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
“At the end, we ended on the top of the table. We played well at home and away as well. As a full package, we are very satisfied.”
“When every team starts an IPL campaign. Firstly, they want reach the top four and the next priority is to make it to the final. We were lucky enough to find ourselves at the top of the table. And once you reach the final, you obviously want to finish the deal.”
Speaking about the final against Chennai Super Kings, Moody feels his team had a good chance after posting a competitive score but Watson’s brilliance outdid them on the big night.
“We batted really well in the first half of the game to post a competitive total. Our bowlers gave us good start in the next innings but then Shane Watson recognised his true potential. After facing 10 dot balls, he was under tremendous pressure to deliver and he delivered well. It was his night and didn’t seam to miss the middle of the bat that night.”
Moody also spoke about India’s upcoming tour of England and believes India have a really good chance to do well on the foreign soil.
“I think India have a very balanced side for their upcoming tours. They are not just a good batting side but have a good line up of bowlers as well. So the likes of Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep and Ashwin, will have to deliver overseas.”
“Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara are already playing in the county cricket, so I think it is a smart move. They are already in the enemy camp and getting a feel of those conditions. That is going to help a lot in their campaign,” the SRH coach added.
On being quizzed about India captain Virat Kohli missing the County stint with Surrey due to an injury. He said, “It is a setback for Virat. He would have liked to play a couple of games in English conditions before the start of the series but it’s unfortunate.”