Batting mentor VVS Laxman is expecting slow pitches during the Sunrisers Hyderabad's 2020 Indian Premier League campaign.
This year's IPL was delayed by several months amid the coronavirus pandemic. It will start in September, in the United Arab Emirates, which also hosted the tournament in 2014.
Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi will be the host cities for this 13th edition of the IPL. No spectators will be allowed at the venues, as a preventative measure against the spread of the virus.
“I can assure all the fans of the game that they will really enjoy the competition even though there won't be any crowd or any spectators on the ground. Don't ever think that the energy or the quality of cricket will come down,” said Laxman.
“Probably the wickets may be on the slower side, but we have to just wait and see because we may just be surprised with the efforts put in by the ground staff. The outfield will be fantastic but the wickets are something that I hope will be well taken care of by the ground staff.”
Hyderabad have recruited several local batsmen. Australian batsman David Warner will captain the XI again. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and other international stars are with the squad, too.
“In the auction, it was a very intentional effort to have the youngsters. While they are youngsters, they are all the most prolific performers in domestic cricket,” added Laxman.
“When you see the composition of our team, we had a lot of experienced players from both overseas and India. But when we look at the domestic players, we were required to strengthen our batting, especially our middle-order batting. So we went with the performer in the last couple of seasons.”
Hyderabad Coaching Staff
Former England coach Trevor Bayliss is the new head coach of the Sunrisers. Former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin is the new assistant coach.
Bayliss and Haddin were colleagues during the Sydney Sixers's triumphant 2012 Champions League T20 campaign. Bayliss previously coached the Kolkata Knight Riders, too.
“Trevor is one of the most successful coaches in world cricket; England won the World Cup for the first time under his coaching. He is a cool, calm person and an amazing human being. At the same time, he has the temperament of handling the best of teams and the best of players,” concluded Laxman.