Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad, the new IPL outfit, have suffered a blow ahead of the tournament with star player Shikhar Dhawan being ruled out due to injury for at least their opening tie against Pune Warriors, to be held on April 5.
"Shikhar Dhawan at this stage will not be available for the first game. We are obviously working closely with the BCCI and the medical team with regard to his progress," Sunrisers coach Tom Moody told reporters here today.
"We are hoping that within a couple of weeks he will be available to join the team," he added.
Dhawan, who scored fastest ever century on debut in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia, had sustained an injury during the series.
Asked how many matches Dhawan is likely to miss, Moody replied: "We don't know as yet. We are hoping that he is going to have a speedy recovery."
Stating that the team has a good mix of youth and experience, the coach said that the efforts are being made to improve the bonding among them.
"It (preparation for the IPL) has been going on well. Our first official training session will be this afternoon. We have had a number of meetings with players. Myself, Waqar (Younis), who is the bowling coach and our assist coach... we spent a lot of time on a individual basis," he said.
"For us obviously it is new. Lot of new faces we need to get familiar with. So we spent a good time getting to know the players. We had a good team evening, a good bounding session, which we will continue to do over the next week also.
"Lot of international players are scheduled to come in the next few days. We are obviously excited," Moody added. Regarding the Sri Lankan players in the team – Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera – who would not be able to play in Chennai, Moody said the issue will be dealt by the officials.
"We will let the officials deal with the delicate situation. Both the players (Sangakkara and Perera) are coming and I am sure the officials will sort out the situation in Chennai," he said.
Meanwhile, Waqar Younis, who is the bowling coach of Sunrisers, said it is going to be a big challenge for him.
"It is very exciting for me and also a big challenge. I am appearing in IPL for the first time, hopefully, with Tom and me, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and a lot of other players, we make a good unit and try to do well," he said.
Waqar insisted that he would not be doing anything with seasoned players like Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma but take care of the younger ones.
He also said it is a great advantage to have VVS Laxman as the team mentor.