One of my best innings ever in T20: Sehwag

The skipper feels that they have nothing to lose in their bid to win the remaining matches. Getty Images

By S Jankairam

Hyderabad: May 6, 2011

Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag termed his match-winning 56-ball 119 against Deccan Chargers as “one of the best innings he has ever played in Twenty20s.”

“I never got a 100 in T20s. First six overs did not go our way. We were 29 for three in six overs. Since they didn’t have a fifth bowler, I thought if I can target their fourth and fifth bowler, we would be able to achieve this target,” Sehwag said after guiding Delhi to a four-wicket win over Deccan Chargers last night.

“The moment I got 23 runs in Ishan Malhotra’s over, the momentum shifted in our favour. I knew if I could bat 15 or 16 overs, the target should be achievable.”

The skipper feels that they have nothing to lose in their bid to win the remaining matches.

“We don’t have any pressure now as we have to win all five games. We have nothing to lose. Nobody is expecting us to reach semi-finals. If you have nothing to lose and if you play freely and fearlessly, you can achieve the goal. We have to enjoy and have a little bit of luck going our way.”

Sehwag cited the example of Chargers, who won five games in a row to qualify for the semi-finals last year.

“Deccan Chargers last year won five games in a row. So hopefully, this time Delhi Daredevils will emulate them.”

When asked as to why his teammates are not being able to produce quality performance, the Delhi skipper jumped to their defence.

“If you look at the 10 games that we have played, I have performed in only three matches. In that respect, even I have also not been consistent. I have to accept the maximum responsibility as most of the players save myself and Venugopal Rao do not have much experience. To build a good team, it takes time,” Sehwag said.

Sehwag never felt that a target of 176 was impossible to achieve even when three of the top-batsmen wer back in the hut within first six overs.

Sehwag whose Herculean 119 off only 56 balls saw Daredevils beat Deccan Chargers by four wickets in an IPL match here today.

“I was always telling my boys that if a set batsman can bat for 15-16 overs, any target is achievable for players like myself, Sachin Tendulkar, Adam Gilchrist,” a visibly happy Sehwag said.

Even when Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma snared three wickets in their opening spell, Sehwag wasn’t really perturbed.

“Steyn and Ishant are both world-class bowlers. I was telling myself that if I can just manage to see off their first spell, I will be in a position to attack their fifth bowler which is the weaklink. Also I knew that I would be able to handle Amit Mishra as I have practised a lot against him at the nets,” Sehwag explained.

During his partnership of 61 for the fourth wicket with Travis Birt, Sehwag told his junior partner to give him bulk of the strike. Interstingly, Birt had only scored four in the 61-run partnership.

He had earlier scored 94 in a match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal and was keen to get a century this time.

“I didn’t want to miss out on a century this time,” said the proud recipient of the Orange Cap as he now leads the pack with 422 runs.

Although his team has to win all the matches from here on in order to qualify for the semi-finals, Sehwag insists that they will play “fearless cricket” as they have “nothing to lose.”

He praised the Uppal strip terming it as a sporting track where it had something for both batsmen as well as the bowlers.

His opposite number Kumar Sangakkara rued about the missed chances which cost them the game. Sehwag was dropped twice in the deep by Ankit Sharma and Dwarka Ravi Teja.

“Well, I reckon you have to take catches in order to win matches,” was a terse answer from the skipper.

“Viru batted excellently but then 175 was a very good score on this track. Our fielding wasn’t upto the mark and we suffered because of that,” Sangakkara said.

Sehwag also termed the crowd support in Hyderabad as “fantastic.”