DUBAI: SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper David Warner on Tuesday said that New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson missed the opening game of the franchise against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) due to a quadriceps injury which he sustained while training.
Warner said in the absence of Willamson, they picked two bowling all-rounders, Mitchell Marsh and Rashid Khan. SRH suffered a 10-run defeat against RCB at the Dubai International Stadium.
"Kane Williamson is not fit, he hurt his quad (quadriceps) while training the other day and (with) Mohammad Nabi. We felt playing two spinners here. Given the thought process, we wanted to chase which probably was not an option if we got stuck the other way, so we went with bowling all-rounder hitting the wicket as hard as we could. Obviously, disappointing for Mitchell (Marsh) to go down as he did," Warner said in a post-match conference.
Commenting on the failure of middle-order, Warner said it was not an easy wicket to bat on as there was a variable bounce on the pitch. Despite having the momentum, Jonny Bairstow (61) and Manish Pandey (34) could not put their team over the line.
After their dismissal, the middle-order collapsed as Yuzvendra Chahal bagged three wickets and was awarded Player of the Match while Navdeep Saini and Shivan Dube picked two wickets each.
"I think through the middle period, it is very hard to play the cross-bat shorts. You have to obviously play as straight as you can and you have to try and make the pace. The ball was obviously going up and down, but I felt that once your two batters are in, it was actually difficult to try and contain and wickets changed the momentum. Disappointing not to have two batters for us in the end or one batter but that is is how the game can go," Warner said.
The SRH skipper admitted that it also tough to field under the lights as the light-towers are very tall which makes it difficult to catch the ball. In the second innings, RCB dropped many catches, including three chances from Bairstow.
"It is very different, we are playing with high-rise light towers and round-circle towers so the ball does not have to go too high that can be distracting. At the end of the day, you got basic errors that were out there. For us, there was no communication that is just poor. Aaron Finch will be disappointed to drop that, it was an absolute sitter," the opening batsman said.
"Coming here at the new venue admits a few challenges but a bit more communication for our side," he added.
Asked about the empty stand in the stadium, the Australian said that cricket is incomplete without its supporters.
"I think in general with cricket, you miss the fans and spectators. We play this game to put on a show for them and hopefully, they can come and watch us. Obviously, unfortunate at the moment. These are unprecedented times but we have to thank and credit all the people behind the scenes," Warner said.
SRH will play against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on September 26.