The Laxman Effect on Sunrisers Hyderabad

Laxman, as mentor of the team, planned the auction strategy, involved in selecting of playing XI and ensured the technical assistance to the players was well received.

In a time when gamesmanship is an acceptable, even if irritating, part of the game, Sunrisers Hyderabad's mentor V. V. S. Laxman (left) has influenced his team to conduct itself well on the field and off it.   -  K. V. S. Giri

It was a triumph of a group of gentlemen. Cricket may have lost its pleasant side but VVS Laxman, Tom Moody and Muthiah Muralitharan, part of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s support staff of, ensured the gentlemanly team of the Indian Premier League (IPL) did not disappoint its followers.

Did Laxman’s calmness rub off on Sunrisers’ players?

“It was not at all about me. It was about the team. I am glad you say it was the most-liked team because we don’t have superstars. We don’t have players who throw their weight around. We are happy to be known as a low-profile side,” said Laxman, who’s on his way to Kolkata to conduct a week-long camp at the request of former India captain Sourav Ganguly.

SRH played the game in the right spirit even when things did not work in its favour.

READ: >A view from the SRH dugout

“You look at our performers – Ashish Nehra, David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Ben Cutting. They are expressive. They play their natural game and it does not require them to be demonstrative. We may lack flamboyance but we have substance. It is nice to be known as a calm team.”

Laxman, as mentor of the team, planned the auction strategy, involved in selecting of playing XI and ensured the technical assistance to the players was well received.

“I discussed the technical issue but never imposed myself. I gave them option. Tom was overall incharge of the campaign and we gave him our inputs. Murali, with his abundant experience, helped bowlers and batsmen. We worked as a team with the right intentions.”

Having seen some players suffer under pressure, Laxman made sure pressure didn’t impact SRH.

“We made sure the players’ approach did not fluctuate and that they did not feel insecure. We had to promise a positive mindset in the ranks. Lot of players did not get to play but those who played were given a proper deal. There was no scope for despondency in the SRH dressing room.”

The emphasis on a formidable bowling unit paid off for SRH.

“Bowlers win matches and we were clear in this aspect. We banked on pace and on wicket-taking bowlers. Rahman was top class, in power play and death; Nehra was exceptional; Bhuvi has a clear mind, varying his stuff and creating pressure. It was a fantastic bowling unit.”

It was a departure from the previous IPLs when SRH would go to pieces in the last four overs and falter after a brilliant start. The presence of Yuvraj Singh strengthened the team’s batting.

In Laxman’s opinion, Cutting made a huge impact. “He did not get to play much but he was the most devoted. The way he worked on his game on the low and slow pitches of India was remarkable. He was first in the nets and the last to come out. I am sure we will hear of him.”

Laxman, a picture of composure during his playing days, has influenced SRH to conduct itself well in times when gamesmanship is an acceptable, even if irritating, part of the game.

Not known to dance, Laxman indulged in it during the celebrations by the team. Needless to say, his footwork was faulty. He has promised to improve.