Delhi Daredevils batsman Unmukt Chand said today the absence of New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder, who is recovering in a hospital after being attacked outside a Christchurch bar, would put additional responsibility on the team in the IPL.
"Jesse's incident was unfortunate. We really feel sad for it. His absence would mean additional responsibility. We have to rise to the occasion," the 20-year-old Delhi youngster said.
Ryder went into medically-induced coma after being attacked twice. He is believed to have suffered serious head injuries after the assaults and has now been moved out of the intensive care as his condition was improving.
Local media quoted doctors as saying that Ryder suffered a fractured skull and a collapsed lung.
Chand, the former under-19 captain of the Indian team that won the World Cup last year, told media after practice here, "I have played well in Ranji matches this season. I have to maintain this form. I hope I would be able to retain the form I displayed in Ranji matches."
Asked to comment on the absence of Kevin pietersen and Ryder, Chand said, "Yes, they will be a big miss this time."
Asked whether he would be batting in one of those positions, Chand said, "The team management had not told him anything so far. I will bat in whatever position the team management will ask me." Commenting on KKR, he said being champions they have to be a very good team.
Chand especially complimented West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine, who will be playing for the home side for the second time. "Sunil Narine is a difficult bowler to face," Chand said.
Asked about the Eden Gardens, Chand said, "It is a famouse venue in the cricket world. It is a matter of prestige to be able to play at this venue," Chand, who had played here earlier, said.
Chand informed that Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene, who will be leading Delhi Daredevils, had a good practice session today.
While most of the members of his side have already arrived in the city, former skipper Virender Shewag, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel and Irfan Pathan will join the team tomorrow.
The tournament begins here with Delhi Daredevils taking on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on April 3.