IPL 2019: Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman says David Warner is raring to go
Impressed by what he's seen at SRH's practice sessions, team mentor VVS Laxman reckons returning Australian opening batsman is in great rhythm
For David Warner and Steve Smith, IPL 2019 is a lot more than another stint in the world's most lucrative T20 league. It's their one real shot at getting into the groove before the big World Cup in England. The two Aussies, banned from international cricket for their role in a ball tampering incident in South Africa last year, have had to miss the IPL as well.
Warner will get the first shot at top-flight competition on the comeback trail when Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens tomorrow. Smith, turning out for Rajasthan Royals, is set to take the field the next day with a match against Delhi Capitals.
VVS Laxman was around yesterday to say that their opener was in a good space. "David Warner is really looking positive this season. It's unfortunate what happened in Cape Town last season, and he is looking forward to contributing to Sunrisers," Laxman said at the Eden, where a thundershower brought the Sunrisers nets to an end and prevented KKR from having a knockabout.
Laxman said the Aussie was "raring to go" and, as 'mentor' of the side, he is happy with what he is seeing. "He has worked hard on his fitness. What surprised me was the kind of rhythm he showed right from the first practice session. We played a couple of practice matches in Hyderabad and he scored in both," Laxman gushed, reminding that Warner "has been an exceptional player for us and an excellent captain as well".
Does Laxman think players sure of making the World Cup cut will hold themselves back at the IPL? "A tournament like the IPL can actually help them stay in rhythm, but they have to be very sensible and smart," is Laxman's first response, and he is quick to remind that "they are all professional players" and know best.
"Workload management is a focus of the franchise anyway as the IPL is a long and packed tournament with a lot of travel," he said, adding: "Players too know things like how to recover, when to train, manage their fitness levels to be in optimum mindset to serve their franchises. In the IPL, there is quality in the opposition and in their own team. Because of the IPL, players will be in a good frame when they land in England."
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