Sehwag lives up to his word
By Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
After Delhi Daredevils' 20-run defeat against Pune Warriors, Virender Sehwag hinted that he wanted to bat at least till the 15th over in the upcoming games. Sehwag had scored 57 in the loss but in the three subsequent matches, he demonstrated rare consistency to score half-centuries in each of the games. In the return game against Warriors, Sehwag batted through till the 16th over scoring an unbeaten 87 and led Daredevils to a comfortable win. In the next game against Mumbai Indians, which Daredevils won by 37 runs, Sehwag scored 73 and put on 135 for the opening wicket with Mahela Jayawardene. On this occasion as well, Sehwag was dismissed after batting till the 15th over. Against Royals, when Daredevils won by one run, he scored another half-century (63) and in the process, became only the fourth player to score four consecutive half-centuries in Twenty20 matches (domestic Twenty20 games). Brendon McCullum remains the only batsman to achieve the feat in international Twenty20 matches.
In IPL 2012 Sehwag has scored more half-centuries than in any of the previous IPL seasons. He is now level with Shaun Marsh and Jacques Kallis on the list of batsmen with the most fifty-plus scores in the IPL. His run aggregate in this season (372) is only behind his corresponding numbers in 2008 and 2011. However, he has the highest average (46.50) in 2012. Sehwag has scored the most runs (313) against Chargers and Mumbai Indians (280). His scoring rate is highest against Kings XI (12.73) and Chargers (11.30). In the previous season, Sehwag rarely had much support from the rest of the batsmen but in this season, with Kevin Pietersen and Jayawardene contributing regularly, Daredevils have been the most consistent side in the first half of the tournament.