Sehwag repletes confidence to take on any side in semis

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New Delhi, May 27 (UNI) Delighted to have sneaked into the knockout stage, a resurgent Delhi Daredevils' captain Virender Sehwag, virtually throwing a challenge, today said his team is ready to take on any outfit in the semi-final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Talking to mediapersons here after a practice session at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Sehwag said, ''After so many close matches, I believe luck has finally come our way and though it is still not clear that who will play whom in the semis, we are ready to take on any team - be it Rajasthan Royals or Kings XI Punjab.'' Riding on Mumbai Indians' loss to Rajasthan Royals in a close encounter yesterday, the Daredevils have managed to make their way into the semi-final stage for which the fourth side is yet to be decided.

''I was watching the match last night and was delighted to see Mumbai lose the match. I called up every one from GMR Chairman to my teammates.

''I thought Mumbai deserved to win but still Rajasthan was a better side yesterday,'' Sehwag said.

Though Rajasthan Royals have won 11 matches from their 13 games so far, Sehwag said there is very little to chose between the two sides as it is hard to predict one particular match-winner from the two teams.

''The team composition is almost same because so far every one has chipped in with his efforts.

''We have a lot of match-winners in our side just like Rajasthan Royals. Last match we saw Dinesh Karthik won a match for us, so you can not predict that who does what when it counts the most,'' Sehwag added.

The swashbuckling opener added that Mohammad Asif, who has been sitting at the sidelines due to injury problems, is fit now and in all probability will play in the semi-final match.

''He is looking good. He has bowled well today and I see him in the squad for the semi-final match.

However, the Delhi captain asserted that his team will not take things easy from here on and is looking to tighten a few areas of their game.

''We are trying our best and still working on our batting, bowling and fielding so that we perform even better in the next stage.

''But everything depends on how you play in the field and if we play to the best of our potential, I believe we can beat any team,'' he said.

With all the teams, led by some of India's best known stars including Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, out of the semi-final stage, Sehwag said not much should be read from their performances in the IPL.

''They are great players. Over the years, they have played some exceptional cricket for India and with 10 to 15 years of experience, performances in the IPL do not tell the whole story,'' he shot back.

There have been reports suggesting that from 2011, the IPL would be held twice a year. But Sehwag was of the view that this would affect the international schedule and players would give up their careers to be a part of the cash rich tournament.

''This would definitely affect the international schedule and I believe public is more keen to see the Test and ODIs more.

''Since so much of money is flowing in the tournament, it could also tempt players to rtire early and be a part of the IPL,'' Sehwag opined.


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