Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) mentor VVS Laxman is happy with their purchases in the auction. As per Laxman, their middle order was shaky in the last two seasons, but this year they have found depth.
“But, thanks to the auction, we have some of the best names like Yusuf Pathan [and] Manish Pandey, to name a few, who have the experience and the ability to raise the bar,” he said.
Laxman wants his batters to take the finishing role. “This time around, we ensured that we have [batsmen] who can do well in the middle-overs and finish off the games in the death overs.” He added, “Essentially, we have retained the core group even while picking some of the gifted players this time around.”
The former India cricketer understands the T20 format and hence rates all teams equally in this format. He said, “It is obvious that all franchises have very good teams in the IPL. And it all boils down to one good innings or a couple of good overs in this format,” Laxman said.
The SRH mentor flaunted the strength of his team and said they have combinations which can perform in any situation. “We will play to our strength to get the desired results and achieve our goal of winning the title. We have the liberty of picking from four to five combinations in any given situation to take the field which not many teams can boast of,” Laxman said.
He wants the crowd to stand by them. “Yes, we hope to get off to a winning start in the first two games at home. A ground (Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Uppal) which we know so well and hope the orange army band of supporters will be there in full strength to cheer us as wholeheartedly as they have been doing till now,” he said.
Spin bowlng coach Muttiah Muralitharan shedded light on their spin attack. He feels the two overseas spinners, Shakib-al-Hasan and Rashid Khan are key to their success.
“This time around, it is definite that we will be playing two spinners since Shakib-al-Hasan (of Bangladesh) will fit in the bill as an all-rounder. The best part is that Shakib can bowl well in both power-play and death overs while [leg-spinner] Rashid Khan has been a wicket-taking bowler for us last season. Maybe, we will switch roles between them as far as power-plays and death overs are concerned.”
Former Sri Lanka cricketer and SRH bowling coach was confident of the team’s ability to tackle any challenge. He said, “Well, whether the spinners should attack or prefer containment depends on the kind of totals we post and the playing conditions. But, I feel taking wickets is always important in any situation. No doubt, the pitch plays a big role and fortunately we are ready for any challenge.”