Dubai: It’s still early days in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but debutants Sunrisers Hyderabad have already shown they mean business.
In their opening match, they defeated Pune Warriors by 22 runs, to prove that they have a winning combination. Then, through their super over win against the strong Royal Challengers Bangalore, they showed that they have the ability to withstand the pressures of a tough battle.
Speaking after the impressive start, Hyderabad skipper Kumar Sangakkara, a veteran of many battles, said: “These two games at home were very good for us and now we are hoping to get more good games.”
If Hyderabad can race past Bangalore on Tuesday in their first away match, then it could be a race to the top to be one of the strongest teams in the IPL.
The think tank behind the team comprises former stars Krishnamachari Srikkanth and V.V.S. Laxman, who play the role of mentors.
While Srikkanth had been associated with the shortest format of the game ever since the birth of IPL (as a brand ambassador of Chennai Super Kings), Laxman knows the conditions in his hometown like the back of his palm.
With Australia’s Tom Moody as chief coach and former Pakistan pace legend Waqar Younis as their bowling coach, Hyderabad boast some of the most effective support staff.
The way the owners of the team went about strengthening their squad was indeed remarkable. They have a very competitive batting line-up, led by skipper Sangakkara and followed by South Africa’s J.P. Duminy, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera, Australian Twenty20 specialist Cameron White and India’s Parthiv Patel.
If that wasn’t strong enough, Hyderabad retained the right combination for their bowling attack from the erstwhile Deccan Chargers, led by South Africa’s tearaway pacer Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma with spinners like Amit Mishra and Nathan McCullum.
Hyderabad’s quick bowlers Steyn, Clint McKay, Sudeep Tyagi and Sharma are bound to benefit from Younis’ vast experience, especially when bowling at the death.
It should be noted that Younis was instrumental in guiding Pakistan into the semi-final of the 2010 ICC World T20 Cup in West Indies and is well versed about the factors that make a winning combination in T20 cricket.
In a bid to boost the Sharma’s morale, Younis has already announced that the lanky paceman can emerge as a better bowler than he is now. Sharma vindicated his coach’s faith in him with a fine three-wicket spell against Bangalore on Sunday.
Hyderabad have also invested heavily in their technical support staff as much as they have in their players.
Simon Helmot, who coaches Victoria Bushrangers in the Ryobi One-Day Cup of Australia’s domestic one-day competition, is their assistant coach and they also have Jade Roberts as their trainer and Theo Kapakoulakis as physiotherapist.
The onus is now on the team to keep up the good work.