|VVS Laxman,Shikhar Dhawan
Calcutta: Shikhar Dhawan’s elevation to the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s captaincy was actually decided upon around a month ago.
Dhawan, who has had an extraordinary return to international cricket this year, begins his assignment with the CLT20 qualifiers in Mohali.
The Sunrisers finished fourth on their IPL debut, in April-May.
Franchise mentor V.V.S. Laxman told The Telegraph: “Chika (fellow-mentor Krishnamachari Srikkanth), Tom (Moody, the coach) and I took the captaincy decision about a month ago...
“Once it was decided, Shikhar was informed. He was then with India A in South Africa. Shikhar would have captained even if Kumar Sangakkara had opted to play for us and not Sri Lanka’s T20 champions, the Kandurata Maroons.”
Speaking from Chandigarh on Sunday evening, Laxman added: “Shikhar has had a phenomenal year for India. Besides, we found him very expressive during team meetings in the last IPL, which marked our debut...
“All three of us felt this was the right time to elevate Shikhar and the decision was quickly reached.”
Laxman, who retired from international cricket 13 months ago, acknowledged that getting an Indian to captain the franchise would help in working out the right balance.
In the IPL, the captaincy rotated between Sangakkara and Cameron White.
“As you know, there are restrictions on the number of foreigners and you can’t have more than four in the 11, so finding the balance is critical. Also, this is our way of rewarding Shikhar for a great 2013,” Laxman said.
For his part, the 27-year-old is up for the challenge.
Meanwhile, spearhead Dale Steyn has arrived, but the Sunrisers won’t have the services of former Pakistan captain and coach Waqar Younis.
Waqar had only been contracted for the IPL. He’d served as the franchise’s bowling coach.
“We didn’t have enough time to put a proper structure in place before our debut IPL... We’ve learnt since then and, going forward, expect everything to be more thorough,” Laxman pointed out.
The CLT20 qualifiers begin on Tuesday.