SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) mentor VVS Laxman said SRH have got players who have the skills “not only to win the matches but also win the tournament.” In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Laxman praised SRH’s consistent returns over the past few seasons after they won their maiden title five years ago. “2016 was the year we won the IPL. But after that while we are aiming and dreaming of winning the IPL again, we have been very consistent in qualifying for the playoffs. Even last year, in the middle of the tournament we thought we wouldn’t qualify but the way the boys played – especially winning successive matches to reach the playoffs… Unfortunately, we were not able to play a good game against Delhi Capitals. But overall, I think the team has performed very consistently over the last few years and that’s we are expecting in this IPL,” Laxman told NDTV.
“I’m sure we’ve got the squad, we’ve got the skillset and quality of players who can go on not only to win the matches but also win the tournament.”
The IPL season also marks the return of SRH skipper David Warner, who had led them to the title back in 2016.
Laxman said Warner has been “sensational” for SRH and he is “100 per cent fit and ready to go.”
“You know he is someone who not only contributes through the bat and the fielding but also has been truly inspirational (in) the way he shares his knowledge and mingles with the youngsters,” Laxman said of Warner.
“And that’s so important and that’s one of the responsibilities or expectations from the overseas players.
“Warner has been sensational for Sunrisers and I think he is 100% fit and ready to go and he can’t wait to again open for the SRH franchise come the 11th of this month.”
SRH will also be bolstered by the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who resumed his international career after a long injury layoff that had cut short his last IPL season.
Bhuvneshwar was among the wickets during the limited-overs leg of England’s 2021 tour to India.
“I think he is just a top-class fast bowler,” Laxman said.
“We’ve seen in the recently concluded series against England. On a batting paradise in Ahmedabad and in Pune where the batsmen were dominating, Bhuvneshwar Kumar not only restricted the flow of runs but also picked up wickets with the new ball and in the death.”
Laxman added: “It is never easy for a fast bowler, especially who is playing all three formats, to have recurring injuries. It’s been tough for him – started with back injury then he had the groin injury.
“But I’m sure all the hard work he has put in during his rehab and also preparing for the England series has won rewards. I am sure that he’ll be looking forward (to IPL) because he’s probably one of the most skilful bowlers in the world – not only in India but in the world.”
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