A breakdown of the questions you voted on will appear here.
Pulse connects you to the
Get closer to the this season by using Pulse while you watch the LIVE matches. Pulse asks you a range of questions relevant to the LIVE action as it unfolds. Your votes will be featured in the telecast in real-time and debated by the commentators, players and stars. If you've got a great question of your own, we'd love to hear it.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have caused a few flutters with their performances in Pepsi IPL 2013. Although they go into the match against Delhi Daredevils with a loss they will be drawing on confidence from their two victories earlier in the tournament.
Ahead of their match at the Feroz Shah Kotla, team mentor, former India cricketer VVS Laxman addressed the media and reflected on the team’s prospects and composition.
Asked of the impending game, Laxman told the media, “We are very pleased with the way we started the tournament, winning two games especially against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad where it went into the super over. When you win such tight matches it always gives a lot of confidence to the team. In the last match in Bangalore (which the Sunrisers lost) Virat Kohli played a superb knock.”
“We like to concentrate on our game. We don’t think about what Delhi has done in the last few matches. We just want to improve on our own performances. We got a very good side and the combination is excellent with good experienced players and some talented youngsters in the side. We just want to focus on our game and if we can do that I think we will make a mark tomorrow,” he added.
One of the talented youngsters in the side is Hanuma Vihari who played a match winning knock against RCB in Hyderabad. Impressed by the youngster Laxman said, “Vihari is a very good player. He was with India Under 19 team when they won the (Under-19, 2012) World Cup and the maturity he showed in the second game where he played a very important knock on a tough wicket. I think you want to see those kind of knocks from youngsters and yes very best wishes to him.”
Asked if batting was an area of concern for the team, Laxman replied, “I think that the first two games we played on tough batting conditions. If you see, the opposition was not even able to finish. In Bangalore, our third game, we scored 161 runs which is very good.”
“Bowling is definitely our strength without a doubt. We have got the best bowler in world cricket in our side. Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra are bowling well and then you have Thisara Perera, Ashish Reddy who can support them. So bowling is definitely the formidable side to our team but having said that we have got some talented batsman who can win matches on their own. So I think it will be good to see them also realising their potential like the way we did in Bangalore.”
Discussing the team further and the mood in the side he mentioned, “I think the team bonding is excellent. Especially in a tournament like IPL it is critical because you have got players from different parts of the world coming together and playing as a team. So it is important that each one understands his colleague and gels well. The team environment is very good, the support staff is making sure that it is a great team environment where each one enjoys their cricket and I think that’s very important and we are really focusing on doing.”
Laxman, who has been India’s man in a crisis for a long time, said that he advises the youngsters not to be intimidated by the opposition and challenges of maybe facing someone like a Virender Sehwag. “There is no doubt that Sehwag is a dangerous player in all formats of the game and against any opposition he is a dangerous player and we have to accept that. But as a batsman or bowler you are always going to do what you are best at irrespective of the batsman you are bowling or bowler you are facing. I think that’s going to be the case with our players tomorrow. I tell them to bowl to their strength and believe in themselves which is very important. Not to get overawed by the opposition players they are playing against.”
Speaking about Kumar Sangakkara’s leadership, Laxman observed, “He is definitely very positive. He would like to get more runs. We know he is not only the best batsman in the team he is one of the best batsman in world cricket. He has been very good as a leader till now and that is so important. Good, exceptional leaders don’t really carry their skill as a batsman or as a bowler in to their leadership. I think that is very important and Kumar has exhibited that in the three matches. And he has led from the front even though he is not amongst runs. The kind of encouragement he is giving to the youngsters and getting the best out of each and every individual, I think he has been brilliant as a captain till now.” Discussing the top-order further and missing Shikhar Dhawan he said, “Firstly, yes Shikhar was in tremendous form last year. His debut in Mohali was exceptional. So I think he is going to be a major contributor to our team once he comes back. Having said that, Parthiv (Patel) and Akshath (Reddy) have done well (at the top of the order). They played on wickets that were not conducive for stroke play and they had decent partnerships. They would love to convert those starts into big scores which I am hoping will happen tomorrow.”
Giving insight into his own role as mentor, a cloak that he has donned for the first time, Laxman stated, “It is a new role as far as the designation is concerned, as a mentor. I am playing the role for the first time but I have always done this even as a senior player. I have always thought of sharing my experiences with the youngsters. I have learnt a lot from my seniors. Sharing various situations that you were part of and what your thought process was at that point of time. How to handle various situations and how you handle playing top players and how you react to various conditions and situations etc. I think it is great. As a player I was very lucky that the youngsters were receptive to what I told them. It’s always a discussion; it is not that you are dictator. You share certain things about the game and if a youngster can benefit from it, good for them.”
Yet to get points on the table in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013, the Delhi Daredevils trained hard at the Feroz Shah Kotla ahead of their clash against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday evening. Although they have suffered losses in all three of their matches leading up to the game on Friday the team is positive in their minds.
“It is not the best start in the tournament but luckily we have identified the areas where we have gone wrong. And it is just one of those things that you need to get better and hopefully now, from tomorrow we can get the momentum that we need going to go forward in the competition. The mood is very, very good the guys are still in very good spirit. We saw last year with Chennai Super Kings, they lost the first few games in a row and then they made it to the final. We are fully positive and we believe that tomorrow in front of the home crowd we can deliver something special,” Morne Morkel told the media on the eve of the match.
With the batting weakened, bowling will be the strength of the Daredevils. However, with the Kotla wicket not known to assist pace, DD were asked how they would be working on it? Morkel explained, “Last year our seam attack did well at Kotla and we do have certain plans that we need to execute tomorrow. The conditions are probably different than back home and what I am used to but it is our home ground and we need to use it to our advantage. If it is changing pace or bowling death overs, on the day we need to be street smart and just need to adapt to the conditions a lot quicker. In the last couple of games, we were quite slow to adjust to the conditions and I think it is very important as a bowling unit that we communicate on the field and with the guys bowling first change and second change and those coming back to know what to expect”.
Discussing their opposition who have come into the game with two wins and a loss, he said, “There have quality international and very good local players in the side and they are a very dangerous team. They have some guys who can change the momentum quite quickly and we need to try and stop those guys and get some early wickets and also score some runs upfront. We are looking (forward) to a fantastic game tomorrow. We are very hungry for a win so I think tomorrow s going to be a very special day.”
Plagued with injuries to key players like Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen the team is keenly awaiting the former to take guard for the team. The senior opener was seen having a go at the ball in the nets and besides the team the fans will be eagerly awaiting his return to the crease.
Speaking about Sehwag’s injury status and availability, the pacer said, “Viru is improving everyday and feeling much better. But I think we will make a decision tomorrow before the game. Couple of hours, three four hours before the match, (hopefully) he will recover tonight and he will make a decision tomorrow but he is definitely improving a lot and we can’t wait to have him in the starting XI.”
Asked about playing against fellow South African Dale Steyn, the tall pacer said, “There is no competition with Dale. I am a massive fan of Dale Steyn and he is No 1 in the world so to me to try and take him on would be a bit silly. He has helped me quite a lot with my game and it is fantastic playing with him and so I am a massive fan and am sure that he is going to be up for challenge against David Warner and Sehwag, if he plays. And I think it is going to be a good showcase of cricket tomorrow. And we also have Ishant Sharma bowling well and inside the game and Umesh and other guys.”