We missed Pietersen, says Irfan

Sehwag said the score of 150-odd was defendable but for Delhi's poor bowling and fielding.

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Kallis put Delhi on the backfoot right away.

(The Telegraph) — Delhi DareDevils captain Virender Sehwag Monday blamed his bowlers and fielders for their six-wicket loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“We were short by 20-25 runs, we didn’t capitalise on the start. The batsmen failed to get going in the middle overs. We lost Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor during the period and it affected us.

“But 150-odd was not a bad total, our fielding and bowling was not up to the mark, when you are giving boundary balls, it is difficult to set a field,” Sehwag said after the match.

Asked if Shahbaz Nadeem was the right choice, Sehwag said: “We decided to give the spinner (Nadeem) a chance because Gautam is batting well against the fast bowlers.”

Sehwag also praised West Indies spinner Sunil Narine, who continued his good work and claimed two wickets today.

“I think if I get to face Narine, I will smash him all around the park. His tricks won’t work against me. But it is difficult for the other batsmen, who cannot pick his deliveries.

“The key to play Narine is to pick him early. You need to be really alert when you are playing against Narine. He is a young bowler and is learning really fast.”

Losing Sehwag and David Warner early in the innings was the main reason behind the DareDevils’ defeat, said Irfan Pathan at the post-match media conference.

The pacer, who was hit for 28 runs in his three overs and also dropped the catch of his brother, Yusuf Pathan, said a score of 160-plus would have helped the home side defend better.

“It was not exactly our day... A score of 160-plus would have been better… But we lost both Sehwag and Warner early in the innings. It really went against us.

“At the same time, there was no Kevin Pietersen... As long as he was there in the team, he was doing a great job in the middle orders. Today we missed him,” said Irfan.

“We wanted to beat the Knights because we might play them again in the playoffs... More than any other game, we wanted to win this game. No one made a big score and that probably cost us the game. We could have bowled better, but it just wasn’t a good day for us,” said Irfan.

Irfan, however, refused to accept that his team has become complacent after a series of wins in the IPL-V.