Pune: Delhi Daredevils head coach Eric Simons said skipper Virender Sehwag and New zealand batsman Ross Taylor have recovered from their bouts of flu and will be playing in the play-off against Kolkata Knight Riders in Pune on Tuesday.
"We didn't have an extended practice session for them. They had light practice as both were recovering from bouts of flu. We are confident that they will be fine," Simons stated on the eve of his team's match on Monday.
Delhi have been the most consistent team in the league stages of this season's IPL, but Simons insists that won't have any bearing when the two teams square off at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium for a place in the final. "It is rewarding that we have finished on top, but in Twnety20 you don't really get a platform. The match between RCB [Royal Challengers Bangalore] and Deccan Chargers yesterday [Sunday] showed that. There was one team that was doing great and the other team was struggling. Yet Deccan Chargers came out on top," he said.
Asked about the mantra for success in crunch matches, Simons pointed out a number of aspects that need to fall into place. "We have to be aware about where exactly we are emotionally and mentally. We have to do the basics correctly and it is important to end on the right side of the contest."
In the past four seasons, Delhi had made it to the last-four in the first two editions, and many believe that they are a "good semi-final team." "I would only be too happy if people start believing in that," Simons said in jest.
Simons felt that likes of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron have evolved as cricketers in the past one year, which has been key to team's brilliant show in the competition so far. "When we left last year, we had a discussion as to how everyone needs to grow and mature as cricketers. From Morne [Morkel] and Irfan [Pathan] to Umesh [Yadav] and Varun [Aaron], everyone has improved, which has helped the team. The best part is that we have been calm as a unit. We haven't been caught up too much with what has been going around us. Our team changes have been consistent. We have had solid reasons whenever we have made changes."
The former Indian bowling coach also had words of praise for opposition captain Gautam Gambhir and 'mystery spinner' Sunil Narine. "KKR have been a consistent side in the league stages. Obviously Gautam has batted well and Narine has bowled well for them. But there have been a few others who have made significant contributions. We respect each and every player in their side. They have had the ability to put opposition under pressure."
The Pune track hasn't exactly been a batting paradise, but Simons isn't overtly bothered about the nature of the strip. "We have been told that it will be a fresh wicket and [one] which hasn't been used recently. We will have a look at the wicket. The main thing for each bowler will be to find their right area," the former South African pacer said.