Kolkata: David Warner sat out of Sunrisers Hyderabad's training session on Saturday, fuelling speculation that he may not be available against Kolkata Knight Riders but coach Tom Moody said the Australian opener will play on Sunday in his first match after the ball tampering scandal.
"Warner is available. He is jumping out of his skin to start his campaign," Moody said.
As for who would partner Warner at the top, Moody dropped hints that his side may use Englishman Jonny Bairstow who also gives the wicket-keeping option.
"Picking Johnny Bairstow up in the auction was an important strategy for us because we wanted an overseas player who could give us the option to keep wickets," said Moody.
"Having an impact player like Johnny Bairstow in the similar mould of Jos Buttler gives that option and flexibility to have that keeping role nailed down and have an impact player at the same time."
It's at the same venue the Sunrisers had eliminated KKR en route to the final in 2018 with Rashid Khan excelling with both bat and the ball.
"We feel the surface here very much suits the brand of cricket that we play. So we are going with a lot of confidence given that our first game is an away one," said the Australian.
Moody praised comeback man Wriddhiman Saha who played in the second qualifier last year despite a broken thumb.
"It's great to see Saha back. It's a long journey with recovery. What he gave us last year through challenging times fitness-wise. He has shown a lot of character and courage. His keeping is second to none — an outstanding glovesman," the coach said.
Asked if all the players will be available in view of the World Cup beginning on May 30, Moody said, "A lot of teams aren't going to be affected too badly. Maybe when it comes to finals, it might be a different story. But certainly in the main stage of the tournament, I think most players will be available.
"I've got 100 per cent confidence in the 23 players we have got.
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