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If leaders are on same page, success follows

Apart from overhauling the coaching staff, where Sunrisers played it smart was in picking Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera in the auction. Javagal Srinath writes.

india Updated: May 22, 2013 00:54 IST

I have watched the progress of Sunrisers Hyderabad with admiration and fascination. The core group is pretty much the same as last year, when the franchise playing as Deccan Chargers finished just one place off the bottom. And in the off-season, they made some significant acquisitions on and off the field that have massively influenced their progress this year.

Apart from overhauling the coaching staff, where Sunrisers played it smart was in picking Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera in the auction. Both have the all-round capabilities required to change the course of a Twenty20 match, and have exhibited their skills and match-winning abilities more than once this season. Throw in Ishant Sharma, absent through injury last season, and leg-spinner Karan Sharma, one of the finds of the tournament, and Hyderabad have a versatile bowling attack spearheaded by Dale Steyn.

High on Confidence
Shikhar Dhawan was sorely missed early on, but since his return, the batting has looked a different proposition. Dhawan is high on confidence after playing a T20-like innings on Test debut against Australia.

With Parthiv Patel too hitting form at the right time, the batting is in reasonably safe hands.

They have a strong leadership group as well. Cameron White has led when Kumar Sangakkara has dropped himself, but I can also see a distinct Sammy influence on team dynamics.

Having led West Indies to the World T20 title, Sammy knows what it is to be a part of a winning side as well as its captain. When people with responsibilities come on the same page, it's inevitable that success will follow.

The likes of Sammy, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard bring the true West Indian attitude with them. They don’t complicate the game, rely on raw power and have great belief in their capabilities. Technology does allow the opposition to work out plans, but these three back their instincts, with stunning results.

Focus on game
In Wednesday’s Eliminator, Sunrisers will be up against Rajasthan Royals, a team clearly in distress but full of character, led from the front by Rahul Dravid, who best illustrates all that is good about cricket. In adversity such as what they are confronted with, their focus will primarily be on the game. They will feel the added moral responsibility to do well. Rajasthan have class batting acts in Rahane, Watson and Dravid with Sanju Samson an exciting young talent. If Faulkner, Kevon Cooper and the other bowlers rise to the challenge, Rajasthan have the batting to put it past Sunrisers.

TCM / HAWKEYE
The writer is a former India pacer