Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody has said reaching the play-offs of the Indian Premier League is a only a step forward and his team now needs to gear up for the challenge ahead.
"This is only one step. We had set the goal to qualify, we have achieved that. Now, we need to gather ourselves and plan and prepare appropriately. We got a few days to do that," Moody told reporters after the Sunrisers Hyderabad got the better of Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets last night here to make it to the play-off stage.
"The challenge ahead is an exciting one. Lot of people at the beginning of the tournament gave us no hope whatsoever. So, it is very rewarding and satisfying that we managed to evolve as a team, gel well as a team and qualify," he added.
Moody said he would look at the play-offs as no different from the other games so far in the league stage of the tournament.
"I don't think the play-offs will bring more pressure than what today was. Today was final for us. The next game is no different than any other game we played in this tournament.
"As far as we are concerned, every game is the same for us. The play-offs in Delhi is no different. Our preparation will be no different," he insisted.
Although the loss of wickets while chasing a modest target of 131 against the Knight Riders last night, had brought the Sunrisers under some pressure, Moody said the experienced players in the side dealt with the situation well.
"We won with an over to spare. Quick wickets was a little bit of pressure. But it really depended upon how we reacted in that situation and we reacted in our own way. We did not panic. We have experienced people in the middle. We have batting capabilities. We made it interesting.
"We should have probably finished with a few overs to spare. They fought well. They tried to get back into the contest," explained the coach.
Heaping praise on openers Parthiv Patel (47) and Shikhar Dhawan (42) who gave a solid platform to the team, Moody said,
"The partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel is very pleasing. They batted exceptionally well. Parthiv is in nice form. Shikhar is taking time to get going, but is really hitting the ball and show exactly why he is playing international cricket."
Moody said in the absence of Ishant Sharma, who was down with fever, Anand Rajan (1/22) did a good job.
"Ishant Sharma is suffering from fever. He is disappointed that he could not make it. Anand Rajan showed that he was more than capable of stepping up and take the opportunity," he said.
Meanwhile, KKR coach Trevor Bayliss said the team could not play the way they would have liked to.
"In a nutshell, four-five overs of some poor cricket cost us dearly. That happened in a number of games throughout the season. In 20 overs of cricket, you cannot give the opposition five or six overs of bad play and hope to win lot of games," he said.