Delhi Daredevils had a great opportunity to finish as the champions of the fifth edition of IPL, but unfortunately we couldn't keep our momentum in the play-offs and ended up losing the chance. Leading to the play-offs we had played fantastic cricket and I am proud of the way we performed. Our good performance in the league stages raised our fans' expectations, and now having disappointed them in the play-offs; it hurts us a lot. Being the captain and an important player in the team, I take the blame for the defeats. I had put a lot of effort and hard work, but unfortunately I couldn't lead with performance. However it's not the end of the world, we have always learned from our mistakes and we will keep improving.
Our main strength this season has been batting and we have managed to chase down big totals, so that was the idea to bat second. We back ourselves to chase down any competitive score, but sadly we couldn't pull it off in the last couple of games. The Chennai Super Kings batsmen led by a brilliant Murali Vijay ton, batted very well to put on 222 and somewhere in our bowling attack we missed the quality of Morne Morkel. He is a class act and has been one of the best bowlers this season. Irfan Pathan's injury was a big blow to our side as he is another key player and vital to our team combination. His unavailability meant the absence of an aggressive lower middle order batsman and a strike bowler; and to fill this gap we had to accommodate Andre Russell. As per the tournament rules, we can only field four foreign players, which meant that Morne had to miss out. Russell is a fine all-rounder and I think he did a decent job for us. He bowled well and when you are chasing 223, it's never easy for anyone to come and get going straight away. He is a very good prospect and the one to watch out for.
It was a collective team failure, but we have a lot of positives to look at too. The Indian players in our side have done a good job. Shahbaz Nadeem, Pawan Negi and Naman Ojha have been the unsung heroes for the Delhi team. Nadeem was very good in the first half, Negi was very consistent and Naman as a wicket-keeper batsman is an advantage to any side because of his positive approach with the bat. The support for our team has been wonderful this season and it was great to see a capacity crowd during all our eight home games. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the fans, crowd, our team owners, our coaches and support staff and everyone associated with the Delhi Daredevils franchise for their immense faith and support. We tried our best to back up all the love with the trophy win but that didn't happen and we feel terrible for that. We didn't have a good last season but as a team we had dominated the major part of this season. We keep the promise to try and keep improving as a team and come back much more stronger in the Champions League.
- Virender Sehwag