Sehwag to miss opener

Sehwag to miss opener

Time for youngsters to show their mettle, says Delhi coach Simmons

Ahead of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, Delhi Daredevils has been hit by loss of personnel and patchy form of some the key members. They will not have the services of Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder for the entire length of the tournament while South African Morne Morkel, who was the leading wicket-taker in the last edition, will join only at a later stage of the tournament.

In a bigger blow, they willhave to take the field without Virender Sehwag for the opening game on Wednesday, with the dashing opener laid low with back spasms.

Looking at the positive side of it, Daredevils head coach Eric Simmons said the absence of some players allows them the luxury of being innovative with the team line-up.

“Morkel is involved in domestic cricket in South Africa. His team has qualified for the semifinal on April 3. Depending on the result of that, we will know when he will be available. April 7 is the final of the tournament (in SA),” Simons told newsmen.

Simons admitted that the loss of Pietersen was a big blow.

“It’s a huge loss. When you have a player like that, then a lot of game plans are built around him. So, it is a loss but we do believe that we have done really well between the two IPLs to bring more balance to our squad.  This year, we can be a lot more innovative in our selections, it gives us more options and that was certainly an important lesson that we’ve learnt.”

On Sehwag, Simons said, “He is not in town yet. We are not sure exactly at which stage he will be here.”

It, however, transpired later that Sehwag had been ruled out of the first match.
Team mentor TA Sekar offered further light into Sehwag’s absence. “He has been having back spasms for quite some time. He is recuperating.”

Simons stressed the absence of some big-ticket names is a chance for some young players to grab the headlines.

“It’s actually something that we spoke about when we were discussing the fact that there were injuries.

“We spoke about the fact that it presents massive opportunities and I think perhaps one of the things that haven’t done in the past is allow some of the youngsters to come through like some of the other teams have done. That’s is certainly one of our area of focus this time — to have a young domestic cricketer really blossom. We have got some really young and talented domestic cricketers,” he said. 

Simons said injuries to some players in both the camps have, in a strange way, created a level-playing field. “KKR are champions, so definitely their confidence level will be very high. But they are also missing a lot of players due to injuries. I think it is an even-playing field now, we have also lost KP and Jesse Ryder,” he added.

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