Daredevils brimming with confidence
Rajasthan Royals did Delhi Daredevils a good turn Monday night by winning their Indian Premier League match against the Mumbai Indians, and the GMR team from the capital were back at the nets Tuesday to prepare for the semi-finals.
There is a spring in their steps as they worked out under the unusually mild May sun after a prolonged wet spell. The good news for Delhi is that the injured Mohammad Asif appeared fit and bowled for the first time in a couple of weeks.
The squad celebrated teammate Dilshan Tillkeratne’s wedding a la Indian style last night — he got officially married sometime back in Sri Lanka — and they had a double delight as later in the night hey found catapulted into the semi-finals, courtesy Rajasthan Royals’ last-ball victory at Jaipur.
The Delhi team was at full strength and went through all its regular drills apart from an enjoyable game of football under the hawkish eyes of coach Greg Shipperd. Even the regular reserves like Mithun Manhas appeared more than energetic and cheerful.
All the players appeared fit and raring to go, and captain Virender Sehwag reflected the mood in the camp in an impromptu media do after the practice session.
Sehwag confirmed that his team was more than prepared for the knockout stage of the tournament and were not afraid of any opponent.
“I have always said that all teams which make the semis are strong,” he said.
Asked which team can be a threat to the Daredevils, he said: “My team appears strongest to me”.
He, however, said that a Twenty20 cricket match could be turned on its head by any one bowler or batsman and so there were no favourites and that all teams in the semifinals were strong enough to claim the title.
Asked whether he was dreaming of lifting the trophy, Sehwag said: “If I start thinking about it right now, I might not reach there.”
Sehwag said Asif bowled at the nets and looked fit.
Brushing away concerns about the Daredevils’ middle-order, Sehwag said he always had faith in their ability and it was just that they did not have enough opportunities to prove their mettle. He said the last match against Mumbai Indians showed what the Dardevils’ middle order was capable of.
“Manoj Tewary and Dinesh Kaarthick did a great job and got us the victory,” he said.
“Various players have played a winning role at various stages. McGrath, Maharoof, Gautam, myself and others have all played a role.”