The sooner Team Delhi stop mourning their five-wicket loss to Team Jaipur on Tuesday at the Centurion and move on, the better it is for them. Because next up are Team Hyderabad, a side who everyone perceives to be the most dangerous in this Indian Premier League (IPL).
Apart from being well led by Adam Gilchrist, there’s been a method to the way Hyderabad have gone about with their tactics.
Their progress has been carefully planned by four men. Apart from Gilchrist, there’s coach Darren Lehmann, opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs and fielding coach Mike Young. Gilchrist is responsible for everything that takes place once the game’s on, right from setting the field to allotting spells and deciding the batting order.
Lehmann looks at the big picture before every game, assigning tasks, preparing charts and speaking to each player while defining his role.
Then there’s Young, who is in charge of the team’s fitness and fielding. Being a former rugby player and coach, he’s got what it takes to make the players toil and Gilchrist says, “Young’s man-management skills mark him apart.”
Lastly, Gibbs, the in-form batsman who is Hyderabad’s Man Friday when it comes to understanding what conditions here are like.
These four men have been highly responsible in the team’s transformation after ending up as wooden-spooners last year. It was a month before the IPL actually began that they’d started preparing. Among the top teams they were gearing up to face, Gilchrist had marked out Delhi. “They are among the strong ones.”
Look at what Hyderabad’s war-zone can be like ahead of a game. Papers and more papers, red and blue sketches representing the opponents and them respectively which is prepared once the team occupies the dressing room ahead of a game, marking every cricketer they’re supposed to be clashing with the next day.
On Thursday, inside the war-room, Team Delhi players were marked in red. Lehmann was strict when it came to talking anything about his plans for Thursday. “Nope, you cannot be here.”