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‘Defending champions’ just a tag for us, says Sunrisers’ Warner

Hyderabad [India], Apr. 7 (ANI): David Warner, captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, insisted that there is no pressure on them being the winner of last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) while asserting that ‘defending champions’ is just a tag for them.

“There’s no pressure being the defending champions. Last year, no one was even talking about us after the first two games. We just flew from there, play the way we did and we backed ourselves. Each individual had their own plan. Last year, one or two individuals played a role in each single game,” Warner told ANI in an exclusive conversation.

Riding on Yuvraj Singh’s blistering knock (62 off 27 balls), Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural match of this season of the IPL at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.

“This year, the start we had is fantastic. We had self belief. We didn’t bat that well while chasing in the last season and that’s one area we would like to improve this year when we get that opportunity. But, as a team that’s ( defending champions) is just a tag,” the smashing left-handed opener from Australia said.

“Everything will pan out the way we want to if we give our 100 percent on the field.”

Sunrisers Hyderabad is one team that doesn’t have many star players. But the skipper feels that it’s a blessing in disguise as it puts down the level of expectations.

“When you get many players of notability, you get a lot of expectations. When I was the part of the Delhi Daredevils, we had many star players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Glenn McGrath, AB de Villiers, myself and our expectations was to enter the finals every season. Obviously you can, but that’s just on papers. If you don’t go out and deliver, you can’t,” he said.

“For us, it’s about going on the field and playing. People might not see us as the bunch of stars but as individuals we know what we have to do. The self belief came to us with some wins and there is a lot of learning that we still have to do from last year,” he added.

Sunrisers will play their next match against Gujarat Lions in Hyderabad on Sunday. (ANI)