Dubai: Delhi Capitals’ trouble-shooter allrounder Marcus Stoinis feels their team needs to play fearless cricket in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to see off the challenge of a buoyant Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier.
“They (Sunrisers) have been in good form this season. They’ve finished the season really well, raced into the play-offs and they won last night obviously. They’re a strong team, and have got some really good batters, some in-form players, some dangerous bowlers as well, so it’s going to be a good game,” the Australian said ahead of what would be a battle of nerves for them.
“I think Rashid Khan is obviously a great bowler – everyone knows that. He’s going to be dangerous and important for them. Then you’ve got David Warner at the top of the order and then Kane Williamson, who has been really organised and has steadied the ship for them a few times. So like I said, they’re a dangerous team, but I think if we play some good cricket then we’re good enough to win,” the 31-year-old told the team website.
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Stoinis observed that conditions in the UAE have differed in matches throughout these two months, but believes his side has the ability to adapt to conditions. “Yeah, it’s been a little bit hard to tell – I mean some nights there’s been dew, some nights there’s been a lot less – which has affected whether it’s a lot easier to chase or bat first. But I guess the main thing is that we adapt when we get there, and I assume the (Abu Dhabi) wicket is going to be a lot central so both boundaries will be equally big. So it will be about being smart - certainly as a bowling unit and as individual batters. But we’ll be able to adapt to whatever is out there,” he said.
Stoinis, who has 314 runs and nine wickets so far, has arguably had his best season in the IPL this year, but the allrounder believes his team’s victories mean more than his individual performance. “It’s always nice to make runs, but it’s always better for the team when you win. So hopefully I’ll be doing everything that I can and prepare as well as I can tonight and tomorrow morning, but at the end of the day just hopefully we get that win (tomorrow),” he said.
Even though his team’s form has dipped lately, Stoinis reckons that fearless cricket will benefit them against Hyderabad. “In these long tournaments, there’s a good chance most teams are going to go through those ebbs and flows but if you gave me this opportunity at the start of the season – that we’d finish second, and we’ve got one game to win to get into the final – I think everyone here would take that, so I think we’re going well. I think we’ve got to play some fearless cricket, and it’s a great opportunity for us,” said Stoinis.
Asked as to what motivates his team ahead of Sunday’s clash, Stoinis said: “The thought of some silverware and a trophy for the Delhi Capitals franchise is all the motivation we need. So like I said, there’s only two games left in the IPL – it’s been a long tournament, we’ve been away from family and friends, but this is what we play for – this is what every professional cricketer plays for – to win big competitions like the IPL, so motivation is always there,” he signed off.