Kane Williamson led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) was the first franchise to enter to the Playoff of the ongoing IPL 2018, and will now face the two-time title winner Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Tuesday (22 May) aiming to make all the way to the grand finale of the mega T20 event in Mumbai.
The 2016 title winner SRH has been looking in the dominating mood throughout the league matches but they failed to win their all last three matches with little margin. Now, the Orange Army wouldn't certainly want to repeat those mistakes in Mumbai, as they have great chance to make direct entry with a great net run rate to the IPL 2018 final if they successfully beat the CSK in the first playoff on Tuesday.
So far in the IPL 2018, SRH have seen outstanding in all departments whether be it bowling, batting or fielding, and Franchise Mentor VVS Laxman says team’s attitude and approach are one of the X-factors behind the David Warner-less team’s success in the tournament.
Indian batting great told The Indian Express, “The attitude and approach for each and every match have contributed to our success. Yes, we have defended low totals but having said that, the never-say-die attitude and fighting spirit from each individual were visible. In cricket, skills are very important but your mind plays a huge role in being successful and as a unit, we are showing that mental fortitude till the last run is scored or the last wicket is taken. We are simply not giving up and that’s helpful while defending small targets.”
He further went on to explain about the team’s strong character, “The character or personality of a person is exposed when he is under pressure. If you look at some of the close matches we had, we were under pressure and that is when the mental strength of the players was on display. You can be talented but if you are not tough mentally and have a positive bent of mind you can’t be successful. This will help us in the playoffs and it’s important for us as a team to have that for 40 overs.”
It is known that the SRH has the abundant quantity of luxury options that also makes them a successful franchise in the tournament, and Laxman said it has all prepared during the auction and its credit goes to head Coach Tom Moody and coaching staff.
He further added, “I feel the right options and strong bench strength make a team successful. It was a conscious effort from myself, Tom Moody and Murali (bowling Coach Muttiah Muralitharan) to form a formidable squad during the auctions. What we wanted to do was to have a ready replacement for each and every position in the playing XI.”
Commenting on bowling unit, former Indian cricketer noted, “The options we had in the bowling department was very useful for us. When someone like Bhuvneshwar Kumar got injured, Sandeep Sharma walked in and did exactly what Bhuvi did for us or when Billy Stanlake got injured, Basil Thampi came in. Sometimes it can get frustrating because a lot of them may not get a chance to play but are capable match-winners for SRH. But we as a franchise do not like to chop and change.”
On Williamson’s leading skills, Laxman said, “Kane has been fantastic and brilliant as a captain. But I feel we have enough depth in the batting. Yes, they may not have yet played to their potential but that is also because they played on some really bad wickets. So it’s not about relying on one batsman and we have several players who can win matches on their own. We are not overly dependent on one player.”
Although, Laxman believes that the SRH need to improve in all departments a little bit to win the IPL 2018 title despite Hyderabad’s stunning display, especially bowling in the tournament.
VVS signed off by saying, “We won some close games but there are still a lot of areas for improvement. As a good team, we still want to improve in all three departments. It doesn’t matter what results come your way. We need to focus on achieving targets that we missed.”