Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman is delighted to have David Warner back in the mix as his "unmatched leadership skills" is a big plus for the franchise.
While Kane Williamson will once again be leading the side, Warner's inputs and influence on the team members makes him an important part of the leadership group.
Warner along with Steve Smith are returning from their year-long ban for their involvement in ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
"There is a big difference, because he (Warner) is a world class player. For us as a franchise we are so proud of what he has achieved for Sunrisers. He is not only a premier match-winner but his leadership skills are also unmatched," Laxman waxed eloquent about Warner during a media conference.
"The kind of role he played in the development of lot of youngsters in the franchise. He is setting example with his work ethics and the kind of preparation he does before every match," Laxman told reporters at an event here.
SRH head coach Tom Moody feels that the prolonged absence will not have an impact on his performance.
"David Warner's frame of mind I think is positive one. Certainly, through my communication with David has all been a positive one. When you are a world class player and you got an unquenchable thirst to succeed. When game of cricket is taken from you and once it is handed back, you need to do lot of catching up and David will be determined to the best," Moody said.
On Warner, who was awarded 12-month ball tampering suspension, Laxman said "Personally for me, it was very unfortunate what happened at Cape Town. I feel that the kind of punishment which he got was not right."
On Kane Williamson, who will once again lead Sunrisers, Moody said: "We all know that Kane Williamson is not only an outstanding player in all formats of the game but he is also a highly respected international leader."
"He stepped up last year and did a wonderful performance not only as a captain, but as a top order player. We have no question in his ability with the bat. He is a wonderful player. We got a side that boasts of lot of leadership and that's the strength of any squad that is going to be successful. It is not just dependent on one leader alone.
Laxman is hopful that new additions like New Zealander Martin Guptill and Englishman Jonny Bairstow strengthens the squad along with India regular Vijay Shankar, former U-19 World Cupper Abhishek Sharma and India A left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem in the mix.
SRH bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan said SRH has got very good bowling attack headed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and this year with addition of Nadeem and Abhishek, the spin attack will be little bit strengthened.
"And then also we got 'the' bowler--Rashid Khan. We got the bowlers who can take wickets. I think this year will be better than last year because we got balance between spin and fast bowlers. Last year we struggled a bit in spin bowling but this year the balance is right," Muralitharan added.