Kochi: Delhi Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag on Saturday criticised the pitch preparation for Saturday`s IPL match against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, saying it was not suitable for Twenty20 cricket.
The Nehru stadium track was slow and had uneven bounce and batsmen of both the teams struggled to stroke the ball.
Sehwag was the only exception as he hammered a 47-ball 80 to lead Delhi to a 38-run win.
Asked if the track was a poor advertisement for Twenty20, Sehwag said, "Absolutely. People are coming to watch fours and sixes and not to see 120 runs. If you give a track for bowlers and batsmen, I`m sure you`ll end up making 170 and 180 runs in 20 overs and everybody will enjoy the game."
"If you have good bowlers, you have skills then you can restrict the teams under 160 and 170. But in Twenty 20, it doesn`t matter how good you are as a bowler, you will go for runs. So in Twenty 20 you get a good track to bat on and that`s the thing players are looking forward to," he said at the post-match press conference.
Sehwag also said that he played `cautiously` against temperamental pacer S Sreesanth and felt it was better to give him respect rather than go after him.
Sehwag was watching from the other end when Sreesanth dismissed David Warner and Naman Ojha in his first over.
"I had to bat cautiously against him because when a bowler is taking wickets, it is better to give him respect rather than go after him. But I was telling myself, if he
gives balls in my areas, I will go after him because we have to score runs and we can`t play every ball cautiously."
Asked what was the secret behind his success at the Kochi pitch today, he replied, "This wicket was not easy to bat on, so you have to apply yourself and you have to wait for bad balls. You have to read the bowler`s mind. I took the responsibility and batted."
Sehwag said he was lucky that when he batted the ball was not keeping that low.
Sehwag said the changed format in the IPL-4 will not affect the event adversely. The play-offs have been introduced in place of the semifinals.
"The tournament is still the same. In Twenty20 you have very little time to think about what to do, how you will play and the tournaments in the last three years really went well. "Because this time World Cup happened before Twenty20, people are not coming to the ground. But this is the most favorite tournament in international cricket and countries like UK, Europe, West Indies are taking interest and they want to be a part of the tournament," he said.
On his team`s chances against KTK in the next match on Monday, he said "We have to play well and we have to play good cricket. If we bat well and bowl well only then we will qualify for play-offs. In the coming games, we have to lift ourselves and give more than 100 percent." Asked about the packed IPL Schedule and the fatigue factor, Sehwag said "The packed schedule is not only for Delhi but it is for everybody. One week you play four games and one week you play one game so it is like that. After May 2, we will get some break. Every team is playing back-to-back and I`m pretty happy with that."
On Duncan Fletcher`s appointment as new Indian coach, Sehwag said, "Fletcher`s appointment will help the Indian team as after the West Indies, we will be playing against England. Fletcher has been the England coach earlier."