Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderbad mentor VVS Laxman has exuded confidence that the team has the ability to go the distance in this year’s IPL, which will get under way from April 9.
The former Indian star said it amid the Covid-19 pandemic it is challenging in all aspects. “The teams have already got the experience of living in a bubble and staying in it is safe. Like last year, BCCI and the franchises have taken all the precautions to make sure the players are safe. In Chennai we have got three floors to ourselves, our own restaurant, gym and pool. Overall, it is good but at the same time it is very tough for the players, who have been part of the bubble in some way or the other,’’ said Laxman while talking to Telangana Today.
He said the team was in an upbeat mood. “We have got a very balanced team and can take on any opposition in any conditions.’’
The return of former chief coach Tom Moody to the franchise, will add value to the team, according to Laxman. “Tom has played a big role in the development and progress of the franchise. His comeback to the coaching staff will add value to the team.’’
Saying that the inclusion of England dashing opener Jason Roy will be good to the team, he added they have got eight quality overseas players. “We are happy to have that luxury. It is about going with the right combination based on the opposition and the conditions. We have covered all the bases. Jason Roy is a top quality batsman.’’
On roping Kedar Jadhav in this year’s auction, Laxman said that the former Indian batsman brings that experience in the middle order. “The decision to take Kedar was to bolster the middle order as we had young middle order batsmen. Kedar has performed at the highest level and his experience will help us in our campaign.’’
Laxman showered praises on Bhuvneshwar Kumar. “I’m proud the way he has made his comeback. Working with him I knew how desperate he was to come back into the team and perform for India. It is not easy for fast bowlers to return after struggling with injuries. He worked on his fitness and the way he bowled against England was simply amazing. He troubled all the in-form England batsmen, especially on flat wickets, showing his confidence is back. He is special and lethal, particularly the way he swings the ball.
He felt that Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvi are the best in the world as far as the white ball is concerned. ”It is not about taking wickets, the way they respond to captain’s clarion call.’’
Laxman said left-arm seamer T Natarajan relishes challenges. “In the recent series against England, he showed his temperament bowling the last over in the third ODI in Pune. He backs his strength and bowls the Yorker-length deliveries exceptionally well. He has got the mindset to handle the pressure. He has done that in last year’s IPL and during the Australia also.’’
The SRH mentor pointed out that Rashid Khan is a phenomenal performer. “He is the best bowler in white-ball cricket. He continues to take wickets and he has been the real asset to the franchise ever since he joined the team. I’m sure this year also he will create the impact.’’
At the same time he had a word of praise for Jason Holder’s contribution last year. “It was immense. He not only takes wickets with the new ball but scores valuable runs for our team. He is a leader within the group because he is calm and composed. He is a great addition to the team.’’
On Indian wickets, he said they have got quality bowlers, both in pace and spin departments. “We have got the variety to take on the opposition on any conditions.’’
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