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IPL is a challenge for Laxman

Deccan Chargers skipper VVS Laxman, who played his last ODI game for India about one and a half years back, is looking at the Indian Premier League as a challenge and thinks he would face no difficulty in adjusting his game to the Twenty20 format.

"I think the IPL is a great challenge for me and I'm looking forward to the tournament. Bottom line is irrespective of whatever game you've got, you've to maintain a healthy strike rate in this format, where only 120 balls make an innings," he said.

"I'm looking forward to do well and adjust my game accordingly, and maintain a healthy strike rate as I have done whenever I've played in Tests or ODIs. So, I don't see any difference in this format," Laxman said on the eve of his side's tournament lung-opener opposite Kolkata Knight Riders in Kolkata.

Laxman said it was 'amazing' to lead a side that had players like swashbuckling wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist and aggressive middle order batsman Andrew Symonds.

"During the last four or five days, we've had an excellent interaction. And the way they are putting in an extra effort to mingle with the younger players is just amazing," he said.

The Hyderabadi did not think that Symonds' run-ins with the Indian crowd last year and the racial controversy involving him and Harbhajan Singh Down Under would have any impact on the IPL.

"That's in the past. Let's not go into it. These are exciting times. Let's look at the exciting future ahead.

"Everybody knows he is a match-winner. People would love to watch him for his excellent and exciting cricket," he said.

Laxman said the Australian duo were frank in discussing strategy secrets of their national team in the dressing room.

"That is bound to happen. We are all part of the same team now. In team meetings we do exchange views of opposition players and they also share their views about their colleagues in the Australian team".

Laxman said his side's final XI would be decided on Sunday after Sri Lankans Chamara Silva and Chaminda Vaas arrived late in the evening.

He did not agree that the Chargers' bowling was thin on experience.

"We have got the balance of experience and youth. RP Singh has done very well over the last one year. And though he is returning from an injury, he is in good rhythm. Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa are also experienced bowlers, while Sanjay Bangar and Scott Styris are seasoned all-rounders", he added.

Laxman also differed with a scribe who termed Sunday's clash between the two formidable sides as the final of the tournament.

"All the other teams are strong enough. And in this format, it boils down to which team plays well on a particular day."

On playing against a side led by Sourav Ganguly, Laxman said, "Sourav has been an amazing captain and team player for the country. So, it's going to be exciting".

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