Delhi captain Virender Sehwag insisted his new-look team needed time to gather cohesion after they crashed to a heavy defeat at the hands of Mumbai on Sunday.
The Daredevils franchise opted not to retain a plethora of stars, including AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan, prior to January’s player auction, leaving Sehwag to lead a gaggle of new recruits through this year’s Indian Premier League.
“I think I’m the only player in the team who has played the last three IPLs for Delhi and there are 10 debutants with me. So, it will take time for us to gel and perform as a team,” he said.
Opting to bat first after winning the toss soon backfired on the Daredevils, who fell to 95 all out in 17.4 overs. Lasith Malinga was the destroyer in chief, with figures of five for 13 across 22 deliveries bagging the Sri Lankan pace ace the Man of the Match award.
Knowing full well fellow batsmen Unmukt Chand, Venugopal Rao and company would struggle against the speed, variation and numerous yorkers churned out by Malinga, Sehwag attempted to farm the strike his way.
The big-hitter, synonymous for finding the fence rather than adapting a defensive approach, even blocked out a maiden over to Malinga, only to have his promising 19-run vigil eventually ended by a run-out.
“This is the first time in the last 10 years that I’ve played a maiden over,” he added. “I knew the other batsmen would not be able to pick Malinga. I thought I’d bat against him and let the rest take on the other bowlers.”
Mumbai’s reply was a modest affair as skipper Sachin Tendulkar’s 46 not out led the visitors to an eight-wicket win with 3.1 overs to spare.
The triumphant skipper admitted after the match that the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch was typically slow and was quick to hail the contribution of Rohit Sharma, who weighed in with an unbeaten 27 alongside Tendulkar to bring on the victory.
“I thought about 135 or 140 was going to be a fighting total because the ball was keeping low. Adjusting to the pace of the pitch was going to be extremely important,” added Tendulkar.
“Rohit is a terrific and gifted player, and on a difficult track he played some brilliant shots.” Cricket365