Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman, on the back of his side qualifying for the playoffs, expressed his delight and praised the SRH players for showing character to bounce back from the KXIP choke. Laxman further heaped praise on skipper Warner for taking the onus and leading from the front.
After crushing RCB and DC in their previous two matches, Sunrisers Hyderabad needed a victory against table-toppers Mumbai Indians on Tuesday to qualify for the playoffs and they did it in the most domineering fashion imaginable. After restricting MI for a meagre 149, Warner and Saha batted in fifth gear for the entirety of the chase to seal a ten-wicket win and a playoff spot.
The victory meant that it was five straight playoff appearances for SRH and speaking post match, team mentor VVS Laxman expressed that he was proud of the boys. Laxman lauded the character shown by the SRH players to bounce back from the KXIP game, where they failed to chase 127 in what was the choke of the season.
“Very proud of the entire group, especially after losing that game against KXIP where weren’t able to chase a small target. The boys showed tremendous character,” Laxman told Star Sports post match.
“In the absence of Bhuvneshwar, the other bowlers all stepped up. Nadeem was fantastic today and Saha has also stepped up in the last few games. We knew we had to win games against top teams, just took each game as it came. Executed our plans whether it was in the batting department or bowling department. Shows the depth of the squad. Everyone maintained the positivity and that’s why we qualified.”
SRH’s charge on Tuesday, unsurprisingly, was led by their skipper David Warner, who struck an unbeaten 85 to take his side over the line. It was Warner’s third bludgeoning display with the bat in four games and Laxman had nothing but praise and admiration for the player who has made SRH what it is today.
“He (Warner) leads from the front. He was disappointed at the start of the tournament that he wasn’t hitting the ball well. In the last few games, I remember saying that the 2009 Warner has come out to bat. He is very good with the group. Even when Kane was captain (in 2018), he was excellent with the uncapped players.”
The victory means that SRH will face RCB in the playoffs on Friday, almost exactly a week after getting the better of the Reds in the group stages. Laxman revealed that his side are wary of the challenges ahead of them and expressed that the boys will be confident heading into the crunch encounter.
“We know that they (RCB) are a good side. All the sides in this competition are good sides. We’re lucky to qualify. We know we beat them in the previous game but this is going to be different as it’s a knockout game. Quite confident now.”