Bengaluru, May 30 : Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor V.V.S. Laxman has said the bonding between the side’s players was a key catalyst in clinching their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title on Sunday.
Hyderabad defeated home favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs in the final. Captain David Warner’s 69 off 338 balls drove Hyderabad to 208/7. In reply, Chris Gayle’s 38-ball 76 and captain Virat Kolhi’s 35-ball 54 took RCB near the total but Hyderabad fought back in the latter stage to snatch the win by eight runs.
“To end this (edition) with a win in the final, it’s been a great journey. We started off slowly. But kind of team bonding we have got is exceptional and that helped us in coming out strong. We don’t have superstars in Sunrisers’ family and each member is important. Each member enjoy each other’s company and feel for each other,” Laxman told iplt20.com after the final.
“The way we fought back after losing two league games and played great cricket, winning twice (Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator and Gujarat Lions in the second qualifier), especially against Gujarat Lions was terrific,” he added.
“Even today, we had a very good score — again Warner played well and Ben Cutting played a match-changing knock — but when Gayle was firing on all cylinders, what I liked was the body language of the bowlers and the captain. So, it was a sensational team effort.”
The former Indian batsman, known for his classical batting, hailed captain Warner, who scored 848 runs, as an “inspirational character”.
“He leads from the front. He is an inspirational character. He is a positive and aggressive person. His nature has rubbed off on other members of the team. Despite the pressure of being one of the most important member of the side, to go out there and perform and make impact every day, was very good.
“As a captain, he is a bowlers’ captain. Giving freedom to the bowlers, especially when things are not going according to the plan, you want your captain to back you and that’s what the bowlers have got from Warner. He is also not an experienced captain but the way he has handled things, it was very good.”
Laxman also picked out special praise for the Hyderabad bowlers, especially purple cap holder, medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who picked up 23 wickets.
“We realised that we need quality bowlers and during the auction, we went after them. In any format, bowlers ultimately win you the matches,” he
“Ashish Nehra was brilliant, he was a leader. He helped each one prepare well for the matches. Unfortunately, he was injured. Bhuvi and Mustafizur Rahman (17 wickets, emerging player of the tournament) took the reponsibilities.
“Many will see that it has been a great season for Kohli, Ab de Villiers and Warner, ditto for Bhuvi. Hats off to him. In T20 cricket, It is tough for a bowler to come in and bowl on flat wickets and small grounds. For Bhuvi not only to bowl with the new ball but also to bowl at the death, bowl those yorkers and take wickets and at the same time restrict the flow of runs, was excellent.”