After being in quarantine for a week, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has commenced their net practice sessions on Sunday evening in Chennai. The team is preparing for the forthcoming IPL to be held from 09 April.
As part of the protocol, the entire SRH team has been in quarantine and living in a bio bubble since March 28. Incidentally, the players have not been allowed to go out of their hotel rooms to even start practice until they tested negative for the third time too.
In an interaction with Deccan Chronicle, SRH’s mentor V.V.S. Laxman talks about how his players are upbeat and looking forward to an exciting tournament. “The boys just had a go at the nets and it’s been pretty good,” Laxman shares. “Most of the Indian players played domestic cricket (Vijay Hazare tourney) while the foreign players played for their respective national sides. So we are trying to capitalise this entire week for our practice sessions.”
Even so, IPL for Laxman has always been such a tournament in which the players have to gel well as a team. “And the good thing is that we [SRH] always played well as a cohesive unit and that’s been our strength,” he states, adding, “In fact, we are one of the most consistent teams in the last few years.”
Having retained their core group for the 2021 season, SRH looks strong in batting with the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Kane Williamson, Manish Padey, etc.
So too, Laxman is quite certain that SRH has the potential to beat any side. But added to the confidence in his team members’ performance is his assurance that the team has taken back lessons from IPL’s last season in Dubai.
“I think overall it’s important to get a good quick breakthroughs. I believe winning crucial moments is significant,” he states. The franchise has, nevertheless, been criticised for depending heavily on the top order. But Laxman is undeterred by the talk and says that the team has players who can strengthen middle order too.
“This season players such as Kedar Jadhav will boost our depth in the batting; his experience will not only add diversity but also strike a balance in the line-up,” assures the former India cricketer.
The batting great further revels in the fact that the team has got players who can perform in any conditions. None of his confidence in his team, however, means he is blinded to their weaknesses, the mark of a true mentor.
“An area we need to work on is to maintain the positive frame of mind and attitude of the players when they are part of the bubble for a long time.”
Laxman is also convinced that as the players have been part of the bio bubble in the earlier series too, getting into the groove will not be so difficult.
Even as the IPL time is being held in India this year, the Hyderabadi batsman is aware that the strategy for tourneys of such magnitude keeps changing.
“Strategies change according to the situations, conditions, pitch, opposition, etc. But luckily we’ve got players who can execute strategies even in the toughest conditions. So winning the tournament is all about seizing the momentum early and sustaining it. And for this, players have to be consistent and tough — physically and mentally tough.