Monday, 2 May 2011

Difficult but not impossible, says Sehwag

NEW DELHI, MAY 2: It may have been their sixth defeat in nine games, but Virender Sehwag and his Delhi Daredevils are not willing to give up just yet, with the captain promising to fight until the end.
“It is difficult but not impossible (to reach the play-offs). Deccan Chargers won five matches in a row in one of the earlier seasons and qualified for the semi-finals, so there is no reason why we cannot do that,” maintained Sehwag. “But for that we have to play really well and believe in ourselves, to win the coming games.”
On Monday, Kochi Tuskers Kerala beat the Daredevils by seven wickets, chasing down the target of 141 with ease, after Brendon McCullum’s 19-ball 37 gave them a blistering start. However, Sehwag backed the bowlers, saying, “When the opposition batsmen come hard at you and when you are defending a small total, it is difficult.”
Instead, the right-handed opener felt the batsmen let the team down. “We did not score enough runs. The way I started, I thought 170-180 would be a good total. The pitch was very good for batting. But we kept losing wickets and it’s difficult to defend 140 on such a track.”
However, while admitting the opening pair of David Warner and himself were vital for the team, Viru felt the middle order was good enough to do the job for Delhi in coming games. “There are good batsmen in the side like Venu (Venugopal Rao), (Naman) Ojha and (Travis) Birt. Venu has been scoring a lot of runs for Delhi. It’s just that when you lose a couple of early wickets, the middle order comes under pressure. If Warner and I give a good start, then we are a different side. But it is not that the rest of the batsmen cannot score.”
His opposite number, Kochi skipper Mahela Jayawardene agreed on the importance of a good start. “It’s always good to have a good start. I think most of the teams have done well when they get a good start. The top run-scorers in the chart are all opening batsmen. Viru can take games away from the opposition, so we knew we had to get his wicket early. That was crucial. Brendon also gave us a tremendous start.”
Delhi have won only one of their six matches at the Feroz Shah Kotla, but Sehwag refused to blame the wicket. “We are just not putting enough runs on the board. In the last couple of games, the track was good to bat on. We have to apply ourselves, get a good early start, bat well for the full 20 overs and bowl in the right areas.”
Nevertheless, the Kotla crowd is still behind their team, something which the skipper appreciated. “I would like to thank the fans. They’re coming in large numbers to cheer for us and I hope their support continues. They love their players so hopefully we’ll do well for them.”

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