The unlikely alliance of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow came in for much praise from Kane Williamson, the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, after the duo scored half-centuries to power the side to victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in their IPL 2019 clash on Sunday, 21 April.
The Anglo-Australian pairing at the top of the order for Hyderabad has found great success this season. They scored rapid half-centuries against Chennai Super Kings a few days ago, and on Sunday, it was Kolkata at the receiving end. Warner scored a 38-ball 67, while Bairstow hung around till the end of the nine-wicket win, guiding the chase with a 43-ball 80*.
Warner has already raked up 517 runs at 73.85 to top the batting charts this season. Bairstow isn't far behind, with 445 runs at 63.57. They've complemented each other superbly, and importantly, helped each other find top form, which is handy ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.
Warner is set to open for Australia, while Bairstow will do so for England. They will soon be on opposing sides of the traditional rivalry, but for now, Hyderabad are happy to have them perform in unison.
"The two at the top of the order have been doing it all season," said Williamson. "We certainly hope that can continue, and they were outstanding again tonight. They're contributing hugely, it is significant to our performance."
Their contribution has been so significant, the Hyderabad middle order haven't had much of a go. "It's been an absolute pleasure to watch the two at the top of the order hit the ball like they have been. The rest of us are just preparing to try and play our roles. It's just the opportunities haven't been frequent."
The openers themselves are having a great time in each other's company. "It's good fun, I mean he's [Warner] a great bloke to bat with," said Bairstow. "We run well between the wickets and when he gets off to starts like he has done all the way through the tournament, it's just about giving the strike."
Unfortunately for Hyderabad, Bairstow will be leaving for national duty after the 23 April match against Chennai Super Kings. Warner too will head off to join Australia's World Cup preparatory camp, either at the end of the month or at the very beginning of May.
"Without a doubt they're going to be big losses, they've been brilliant," said Williamson. "They're clearly world class players, they're playing in a world-class fashion every match, which is very difficult to do. But we know there's going to be a time when they leave, we knew that at the start of the tournament. It'll be important that we make that (transition) as seamless as possible."
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