SunRisers Hyderabad pacer T Natarajan has impressed one and all with his ability to bowl toe-crushing yorkers in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League. And in what has to be the biggest compliment, SRH mentor VVS Laxman has said the pacer adds to the death bowling strength of the team. “I think it is great to see the way Natarajan bowled. He has done really well in TNPL that is why he was picked by KXIP three seasons back,” Laxman said.
“He has been with us for the last few seasons now. His work ethic is fantastic (and) even in the Ranji Trophy he picked wickets.
“During the lockdown, he did everything possible to be in best possible rhythm. To have the confidence to execute yorkers, that is fantastic.
“Along with Bhuvi, we have Natarajan now as well who can do the job at the death,” he added.
In fact, the pacer isn’t the only one who has impressed. There have been many like Rahul Tewatia and Devdutt Padikkal who have shown great potential already.
For Laxman, it is no surprise as he believes the IPL is just the platform for youngsters to showcase their talent.
“There are so many Indian players who have done well so far in this edition. IPL is a proper platform for the uncapped players to blossom and become experienced,” Laxman said.
“This time, I am sure every player had the opportunity to spend three weeks in preparatory phase. It is a good sign, I am also excited to see the young Indian players evolving in the SunRisers camp,” he added.
Commenting on his team’s first win this season (against Delhi Capitals), Laxman said: “I think it was a very important win because Delhi did well in their first two matches.
“Your first win is so critical, unfortunately, we did not do well in the first two matches, but the first win is always special and I am sure that will add to the confidence of the team.”
Team selection plays an important role in this tournament and SRH saw immediate success with Kane Williamson’s introduction in the XI. Laxman further stressed on the need to have the best out in the middle.
“We have three overseas batters in our top four, but we need to play our best players in the XI. The youngsters in the XI might probably play the finisher role,” Laxman explained.
“Other night, Abhishek Sharma did not get many balls to face. We have top class Indian bowlers like Bhuvi, Khaleel.
“We have Sandeep Sharma and Nadeem on the bench. Our Indian bowling is formidable.
“We got an opportunity to use Kane at the moment, but depending on the opposition, we have the luxury of playing different combination.
“We also have Jason Holder now, so I think we have the luxury of playing different combination,” he added.
Asked if there has been a sense of fear due to the coronavirus pandemic and if the team has missed the presence of the vociferous fans, Laxman said: “There is no fear related to COVID among the players.
“We are taking care of all protocols, we are not allowed to meet anyone outside the bubble, (and) everyone is concentrating on playing the tournament.
“We are following all the guidelines we are supposed to follow.
“There are empty stands but the crowd noise makes it feel that the stadium is jam-packed. The organisers need to be complimented for this.
“If SunRisers scores a boundary, it feels like that the batsman who has scored the boundary his name is chanted. So it gives a feel of a packed stadium,” Laxman added.
Going into the next game against Chennai Super Kings, Laxman said that the boys need to be confident and should focus on their own strengths.
“CSK is a very formidable side. We know the quality they have in their side but in IPL every team is formidable, it is about sticking to your strengths and executing your skills on the day,” Laxman said.
“We want to build on our win that we secured against Delhi, we are closer to find our best possible combination. We just hope to build on the win we got against Delhi Capitals.
“We will definitely have plans for every CSK batsmen, it’s going to be quite a challenge playing against them.
“As long as we execute our plans, then we have the quality in our bowling side to keep a check on the run flow,” he said.
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