Laxman: 'Bhuvneshwar and Warner change the fortunes of SRH'

Sunrisers Hyderabad's mentor V. V. S. Laxman speaks about the impact of David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the team.

"Both (David) Warner and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) enjoy being in challenging situations and know well how to handle pressure" said V. V. S. Laxman.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The 10th edition of the Indian Premier League hasn't reached midway yet; but it's fairly clear where the best batter and bowler of the tournament belong. In a decade of cricket’s widely watched spectacle, it’s not often that the orange and purple caps belong to the same team.

“Both are match-winners,” observed V. V. S. Laxman of David Warner, who holds the orange cap and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the leading wicket-taker.

“They change the fortunes of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) when they do well. It’s not the first time they have come to possess the caps, meaning they have been consistently performing down the years,” said the side’s mentor, understandably pleased.

Warner’s 54-ball, unconquered 70 and Bhuvneshwar’s five for 19 against Kings XI Punjab on Monday night were but the latest in their series of exploits. “It was fantastic to see the kind of responsibility shouldered by the duo,” said Laxman.

“Both were mature in employing their skills and the manner in which they went about their business. They understand the importance of situational awareness and adaptability,” Laxman said.

The Rajiv Gandhi stadium wicket wasn’t ideal for Warner that night. "It wasn’t conducive for stroke-play and hardly suited to his style of batting. He likes the ball to come on to the bat. But I loved the way he adjusted admirably to the prevailing conditions."

"He showed maturity and responsibility to play out the 20 overs and get a competitive total for the team. Yesterday's (Monday) endeavour was testimony to Warner’s growing stature as a batsman and leader."

He then turned the spotlight on Bhuvneshwar. “Bhuvi was always seen as the new ball specialist. Now he has worked on his skills to such an extent that he can pick wickets even at the death. He works on the weaknesses of batsmen and executes his plans to perfection. Bhuvi’s calm and composed demeanour gives him clarity. He doesn’t get rattled easily and that is his strength,” said Laxman.

The match against Kings XI may have set new benchmarks for bowling at the death. On Monday, the Meerut-born medium pacer deployed yorkers to devastating effect. While the defensive ones stopped rampaging batsmen in their tracks, the boot-lace bomb to Manan Vohra, five short of a century, took the wind out of Punjab’s sails, decisively turning the game the home side’s way.

“Above all, both Warner and Bhuvi enjoy being in challenging situations and know well how to handle pressure,” he said.