CRICKET / The Hyderabad team starts its campaign with a match against Pune Warriors
K. Srikkanth (mentor), V. V. S. Laxman (mentor and ambassador) and former Pakistan paceman Waqar Younis (bowling coach) join hands with the chief coach Tom Moody in an effort to shape the destiny of Sunrisers Hyderabad — the new franchisee in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said the other day that the Hyderabad franchisee could well be the surprise package of the IPL, given the formidable line-up.
The Sunrisers bowling has plenty of variety. Two top level fast bowlers such as South Africa’s Dale Steyn and India’s Ishant Sharma are backed by some experienced spinners like Amit Mishra and Nathan McCullum.
In batting, the presence of former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, South African Jean-Paul Duminy, Australian T20 specialist Cameron White and India’s latest batting sensation Shikhar Dhawan, along with Parthiv Patel, gives the team a solid look ahead of its opening match at home against Pune Warriors on April 5.
The opponents have also to take into account the threat of talented youngsters such as Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Bharat Chipli, Akshath Reddy and the gritty all-rounder Ashish Reddy who are all capable of making a big impact. Ashish was a significant revelation for Deccan Chargers in the final game of the 2012 edition. Laxman says that the balance of the Sunrisers squad should take it a long way. “The key lies in the way we start the campaign. There is no better feeling than starting on a winning note. It is bound to get the momentum going,” he says.
During the auction it was obvious that the think-tank of Sunrisers avoided big names and focused on all-rounders who are more suited to the T20 format.
Lot of planning
“There was a lot of planning before we went there. And we were really happy with the way it went for us,” said Laxman. “What we looked in the selection of the players was their attitude.
“We picked those who had the spirit to put the team’s interests ahead of their personal goals.
“This factor, I believe, should take the Sunrisers outfit a long way in this IPL,” he said.
“We will come up with the right kind of strategies as we all know what it takes to forge a winning combination,” Srikkanth said at the unveiling of the Sunrisers logo a few weeks ago.
“I am a big devotee of Sun God and the new identity encapsulates the valour, endurance and fearlessness of the eagle combining with energy and radiance obtained from the sun,” he said.
Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Jean-Paul Duminy, Shikhar Dhawan, Cameron White, Akshath Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Chris Lynn, Clint McKay, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, D. B. Ravi Teja, G. H. Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Karan Sharma, Nathan McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Quinton de Kock, Sachin Rana, Sudeep Tyagi, Thalaivan Sargunam, Thisara Perera and Veer Pratap Singh
The Sunrisers (Chargers) file
Key player: Dale Steyn (overall IPL tally of 60 wickets from 52 games). For Deccan Chargers, he took 18 wickets from 12 games last season
High: Winning the championship in 2009
Low: Finishing at the bottom in the inaugural IPL in 2008
First match: April 5, vs Pune Warriors, Hyderabad