IPL 2018: VVS Laxman seeks improvement from Sunrisers Hyderabad’s middle-order
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IPL 2018: VVS Laxman seeks improvement from Sunrisers Hyderabad’s middle-order

Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on table-toppers Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on Sunday

cricket Updated: Apr 22, 2018 10:34 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
IPL 2018,Sunrisers Hyderabad,Indian Premier League
Sunrisers Hyderabad are looking to bounce back from their 15-run defeat at the hands of Kings XI Punjab.(PTi)

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) mentor VVS Laxman on Saturday imposed faith in the team’s middle-order but admitted that they need to get better, after their 15-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in their previous match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.

The third-placed SRH will take on table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first match on Sunday, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, looking to make amends from their loss earlier.

“I think they (middle-order batsmen) can be better but potential is there. Right from the start since the auction we’ve been saying that there’s a lot of potential in our middle order and that’s something which we really wanted to strengthen. It was good that Manish Pandey got a half-century (48), Kane Williamson is in good nick, Yusuf Pathan won us the game against Mumbai in partnership with Deepak Hooda and in Kolkata. Deepak Hooda played a fantastic knock to win us the game against Mumbai. It’s just about everyone coming together to perform to their potential and we expect a lot from the middle-order,” Laxman told the media ahead of Sunday’s match.

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“In the four matches we played, in the last match we didn’t use the power play well. Unfortunately Shikhar (Dhawan) got injured (at the) start of the innings. But if you see the previous three games, our opening batsmen gave a very good start. We had 60 or 65 runs in the games, twice we had 50 runs. Ideally if you have close to 45-50 in six overs without losing many wickets then maybe one, then you’ve used the power play properly. I don’t think that power play is a problem for us,” Laxman added, refuting that power play overs are an issue for SRH.

Rashid Khan was taken apart by Chris Gayle in the last match, as he returned with the figures of 4-0-55-1. Talking about whether it was an off-day for the star leg-spinner, Laxman chose to praise KXIP’s batting.

“Batting was too good. When Chris Gayle is in that kind of form, irrespective of who’s bowling, his hitting power was on display. As far as the bowlers are concerned and as long as they execute and bowl to their plan they should be happy. The end result or how many runs they give should not matter. How well he executes the plan and bowls to a batsman is all that matters,” he said.

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“Rashid did that, it’s just that Chris (Gayle) was too good that night and when someone hits your bowling attack for 11 sixes you know that he’s dominated the innings. But having said that when someone does so well, you expect the score to be more than 200 -215. But I still thought that the bowlers, especially the fast bowlers did a fantastic job and controlled the flow of runs,” Laxman added.

Laxman also defended SRH by saying that the team is capable of chasing totals in excess of 200.

“Well, we’ve not come across a total close to 200. Even in the last match I thought if we had not lost Shikhar with injury, used the powerplay better and probably got 50-60 runs, extra 15 runs in the power play would’ve won the game. As the ball got old, especially against the fast bowlers it was stopping and coming. It was difficult for Kane or Manish to get those sixes frequently as the match progressed,” he said.

“But having said that we’ve got the firepower in our lineup and we’ve got quality players, experienced players who can go out and chase down even a score of 200. So if you had asked this question last year, I’d probably have said yes. But this year the batting is very strong we’ve got lot of belief and trust in their abilities,” Laxman concluded.

First Published: Apr 22, 2018 10:32 IST