Johannesburg, May 25 (IANS) : Test star V.V.S Laxman was conspicuous by his absence for most part of the Deccan Chargers' charge towards victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL). It now transpires that he was told by the team management his services as a player were not required, but he would only be part of the think-tank.
Adam Gilchrist, who took over the captaincy from Laxman midway through the first edition of the IPL when the Indian Test star was injured, revealed that Laxman did not fit into the scheme of things this time around.
Laxman, who only played five matches, was not even seen in the dug-out towards the later stages of the league. He surfaced during the presentation to receive his winner's medal and was part of a happy, beaming Chargers squad with the trophy.
"VVS Laxman went through a lot obviously emotionally as he had the captaincy taken away from him and he has been here and played just five games. We told him that we did not need him in the end of the tournament.
"But we wanted him to contribute - his vast knowledge, experience and another thing that is a wonderful example that not only Twenty 20 players but also a senior player like him wants to learn how to play Twenty20 format. He has worked with our fitness trainer, fielding coach and head coach Darren Lehmann. So, that is exciting to see that VVS epitomises what the franchise has been this year," Gilchrist was quoted as saying Monday on the official IPL website.
Asked what he thought was the turnaround for the team this year after finishing last in the inaugural season, Gilchrist said: "I think we had a team which was strong on paper. We had individual players who played well for their respective countries.
"But Shane Warne’s team which was the least favourite to win the tournament changed that and they won it. May be, the same can be said about us. By seeing the record of the last year we came here as one of the least favourites to win. We were happy with not many expectations from us. We had to start again and rebuild the team."
"I think a lot of credit goes to the franchise for turning it around. I think one of my catch phrase for this tournament to the players was to make sure that every ball - the very next ball - is the most important thing of their lives at the moment."