Sunrisers Hyderabad's new-recruit Basil Thampi has said David Warner's absence in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 was disappointing but insisted the former champions would be able to perform well without the Australian vice-captain at the helm.
Thampi backed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson to lead the side to glory in the ongoing 11th edition of IPL.
Sunrisers had retained their former title-winning captain for Rs 12.5 crore ahead of January's IPL auction but the swashbuckling openers' participation in the cash-rich league was thrown into doubt after his involvement in the much-publicized ball-tampering scandal came to light last month.
Warner was one of the orchestrators of ball-tampering, which was carried out by young Australian opener Cameron Bancroft during the third Test of the recently-concluded Test series between the Baggy Greens and South Africa in Cape Town, according to Cricket Australia (CA).
The incident brought shame to Australian cricket and the trio of captain Steve Smith, Warner and Bancroft were banned by CA for a maximum period of one year. There were free to feature in the IPL, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) slapped a ban on the tainted duo of former Australia captain and the vice-captain.
"That [Warner's absence] is you know a very big disappointment not just for the team but for every cricket fan. He has been such an entertainer. However, we will overcome that as we have a good captain in Kane Williamson," Thampi told International Business Times, India Sunday, April 8.
He added: "Also, we have good batsmen, which makes our top order and middle order strong. So it's a disappointment but we're managing that."
Sunrisers will open their campaign tonight against Rajasthan Royals at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. A lot of eyes will be on Williamson as he will be under pressure to replicate the success of Warner in the 11th edition of IPL.
Excited to work with Laxman, Moody at Sunrisers: Thampi
Meanwhile, Thampi, who is eager to pick the brains of their pace-bowling spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar this season, shed light on the impact of mentor VVS Laxman and coach Tom Moody on his game.
Notably, the 24-year-old Kerala pacer won the Emerging Player of the Year award last season for his exploits with the now-defunct Gujarat Lions. He was bought by Sunrisers at the two-day auction in Bengaluru for Rs 95 Lakh.
"Laxman sir, we all know is a legend. He is sharing giving inputs about how a batsman would think during different situations. We are able to get an idea of the batsman's thinking process now. I am very excited about working with them," Thampi said.