Confidence galore for VVS Laxman, Sunrisers Hyderabad players ahead of IPL 9

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Old 08-Apr-2016
Confidence galore for VVS Laxman, Sunrisers Hyderabad players ahead of IPL 9

In "swinging for the hills", Carlos Brathwaite showcased the stunning efficacy of power-hitting in the recently concluded ICC World T20, 2016, but on a stage many reckon equally big, VVS Laxman cautioned that with power comes responsibility. The shortest format doesn't get any bigger than Indian Premier League and the Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor talked up the team's chances in the ninth edition on the occasion of the Hyderabad outfit unveiling their new signings on Thursday.

"I'm quite confident about the fortunes of Sunrisers this year," said Laxman. "The reason for that is the quality of players we've got in our squad. Everyone should go out and play their natural game. Look at Virat Kohli and Joe Root. If you see the percentage of sixes they hit, it will much less compared to Chris Gayle. But if you see their strike rate, it will be on a par with Gayle. If every individual knows his strength and plays to it without compromising, they'll be successful. T20 is all about expressing yourself and playing without any insecurity. We've got players who can do jobs not only to their strengths but also to suit the team's requirements."

Proven match-winners apart, Hyderabad Sunrisers also have in their ranks good leaders in skipper David Warner, Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra. Add Mustafizur Rahman and Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting to the mix and you have a potent combination. Barring Yuvraj, who is out injured, Nehra, Cutting, Deepak Hooda and Mustafizur were handed their team jersey by Dhawan, Williamson, Morgan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, respectively .

"We've got a lot of talent, a lot of potential," said Warner. "With the balance we have, there won't be any excuse this year. I look forward to the season. Everything's going good and we're looking in the right direction. Boys have been preparing well. We've got a struggle to pick the team to go on the park come the first game," he added.

Nehra, Warner said, is a great value addition to the squad. "I've played with Nehra before in Delhi. The way he's proved himself in the last 12-18 months has been fantastic to himself and for India. The way he's come back and is looking after himself, he knows what he needs to get it right to play at the highest level. In the Australian series, the way he started and finished was fantastic. It's a great bonus and a plus for us."

Head coach, Tom Moody said the players are raring to go despite the short gap between the World T20 and IPL. "It's obviously a close crossover between the World Cup and the IPL. But the players are professional cricketers. The IPL is the best T20 league in the world and they welcome this opportunity to showcase their skills. From the team's perspective, the Sunrisers have been working very hard behind the scenes for many months in the build-up to our campaign that starts in Bangalore (vs RCB on April 12). All the players have had enough time to physically and mentally freshen up to take advantage of the work everyone has done, not just coaches. The players are looking forward to showcasing their skills and we certainly are hopeful of having a successful season."

Mentor and bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan hoped for a fair contest between bat and ball. "People want to see scores of 160-170," he said. "Hopefully , this IPL will see good wickets. The game is more important than individual teams, so I think we'll prepare good wickets."

Sunrisers finished sixth the last two seasons and it wasn't lost on Laxman. "Last year, we were disappointed because we were No.2 at one stage before losing to RCB and the Mumbai Indians. Otherwise, we would've ended up in the final four, which is a very important goal and target for all of us," he signed off.

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