Chennai: Their move to bench Morne Morkel raised quite a few eyebrows but Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag on Friday said that it was the injury to Irfan Pathan that forced them to change the team combination ahead of IPL 5's second qualifier against Chennai Super Kings.
"Yes, we missed Morne Morkel, unfortunately Pathan got injured and we had to maintain the balance," Sehwag said after Delhi were knocked out of the tournament after an 86-run defeat. Morkel is the Purple Cap holder for taking the maximum number of wickets in IPL 5. Pathan could not recover from the hand injury he suffered in the first qualifier against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Chennai rode on Murali Vijay's 58-ball 113 to pile up an imposing 222 for 5, but CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni thought Delhi had the team to chase the total. "Personally, I thought they had had line-up to do it but it was not going to be easy. It was a good wicket to bat initially and it was pretty good in the second half also," Dhoni said.
As far as his team's stupendous show was concerned, Dhoni praised the likes of Vijay, Michael Hussey and Dwayne Bravo for their efforts. "It was up to the individuals, Vijay and Hussey gave us a good start, we are a side that relies a lot on good starts. It good to see Suresh Raina hitting a few balls away and in the end it was closed off well by Bravo."
Sehwag had words of praise for Vijay. "The way Vijay played, he took the game away from us, then they have a good batting line-up and it took it away. It was a good pitch and you could score 180 was chaseable, but 40 more runs was going to be difficult to chase," Sehwag said.
The DD skipper led the team pretty well in the tournament, finishing the league stage at the top of the table. "Lot of positives, not expected us to end number one after the league, thanks to the owners for backing us, we will try and come back hard in the Champions League," he said.
Man-of-the-Match Vijay thanked his coaches and owners after his brilliant show. "First of all, I need to thank Bharath Arun and Gurunath, the owner, without them it wouldn't have been possible. Vijay said the plan was for one of them to stay till the end.
"I know the Chennai wicket and I decided to hit straighter. After six overs I thought the wicket was playing slower, so I decided one of us had to bat through the end, I was lucky to come through. I am happy to be a part of this unit and learning from them. Happy to be rubbing shoulders with the legends."
As far as matching up to Dwayne Bravo's dancing ability is concerned, Vijay said, "Bravo's a good dancer, cannot match up to him!"