A new look to the team, new coaching staff, two experienced Men as mentors in VVS Laxman and Kris Srikkanth and the Sunrisers Hyderabad look to flag off their IPL campaign on a positive note.
The team looked upbeat at the practice session at their home ground as the domestic players went about practicing their flurry of strokes before their first game in the tournament.
Their captain Kumar Sangakkara looked crisp in his footwork at the nets as he displayed his picturesque cover drive to his Sunrisers teammates on a sunny Thursday evening.
Not surprisingly, their chief coach Tom Moody was in a positive frame of mind as he said, “The atmosphere amongst the playing group is really good. We are very comfortable with the squad we have, both domestically and internationally. We have prepared well and we feel confident going to the first challenge.”
The Sunrisers have a lot of young domestic players in the squad who will be itching to go out and give it their best. For Coach Moody, the message to his youngsters was simple: ‘Enjoy the game’.
“The players are here to learn the game and perform at their best. The local players do not have enough exposure, whether they are playing in front of big crowds or whether it’s playing against Test stars, but it is a wonderful experience and I just encourage all my young players to just go and have fun; because at the end of the day, it is very important to express yourself. “
Meanwhile a jovial Kris Srikkanth who accompanied Moody to address the press said that he was enjoying his stint as one of the mentors of the side.
“For me it is a great experience to be a mentor of the side. It is nice to talk to these boys and give them some tips as to what to do and what not to do. I have always believed, cricket is a team game and we are gelling well together. We have got a lot of domestic talent and good international players. Tom is doing a great job with the team and giving them the necessary advices.”
Talking of advices, the team certainly seems to be benefiting from advices coming out of Waqar Younis, who is the bowling consultant for the Sunrisers.
The Sunrisers, have in their squad arguably the best fast bowler in world cricket at the moment: Dale Steyn. Add a former Pakistani great to a Steyn; that would make for a lethal combination to which Moody said, “It would have been nice to see Waqar and Steyn bowling at their peak together isn’t it? Waqar has a wealth of experience and not only the domestic players; even Dale Steyn is excited about working with Someone like Waqar. If we can create that environment where it is a learning environment, where even the best fast bowler in the world is prepared to sit in the classroom and be a part of that learning, it is very good. “
Asked if the new franchise had a primary goal in the tournament, Srikkanth was quick to point out, “Every team has a goal in the tournament. Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to be amongst the top four. That is our primary goal and we are confident we will do it. We are a new franchise and we would like to make a big impact in this year’s IPL.”