Sehwag insists he has a balanced team

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Virender Sehwag insisted that he has a balanced side even though they could afford the Australian tour hero Ishant Sharma because of his &quot;high price&quot;.

Updated: March 17, 2008 09:36 IST
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New Delhi:

Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag on Saturday insisted that his is a balanced side even though they could not afford the Australian tour hero Ishant Sharma because of his "high price".

Sehwag said the gangling fast bowler was among players he listed but decided not to bid for him because the franchisee would not have got other top players the team wanted.

"We wanted Ishant but the team budget forced us to decide against going for him. His bid price had soared up. We have to spend a lot more on the icon player (Sehwag himself) and had we bid for him and we would not have got some other big stars," Sehwag said.

"I would not call it (not getting Ishant) a loss but it would have been great if he was in our team. I am happy that he was taken by Kolkata on a big sum," the dashing batsman said at a press conference to announce Hero Honda as official partner and sponsor.

Kingfisher will be the associate sponsor and sports shoes major Adidas the apparel sponsor.

Delhi Daredevils also approached local player left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra who was acquired by Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians.

"We approached him but I think he was offered more money by the Mumbai team than we had offered to him."

Sehwag shot down suggestions that Delhi Daredevils was comparatively a weak team than others.

"Our team combination is good, it is a balance side. We have very good batsmen, brilliant bowlers and excellent all-rounders. It is young side. Leaving a few, most of the players are young and I think we have the best fielding side of all the IPL teams," he said.

Sehwag also revealed that he himself was keen to be with lead the Delhi team.

"I grew up here and wanted to play for Delhi and not for any other team. Had I not been made the icon player I could have been landed up in any other team. So I had asked the owner to make the arrangements," said the 29-year-old batsman.

The team has eight international stars -- Glenn McGrath, Daniel Vettori, Shoaib Malik, AB de Villiers, Mohammad Asif, Farvez Maharoof, Tillekaratne Dilshan and Brett Geeves -- but Sehwag said he is confident that the team members will gel well and he would be able to handle them well.

"We did not want any superstars in the team. We have quite a few youngsters from the domestic cricket. I am happy that we gave chance to these youngsters and at the same time I will be leading players most of whom I know and played along or against.

"I am a professional and have played international cricket for some years. A captain takes decision on the field and players have to go by it," he said when asked how he would deal international stars like New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.

Sehwag said he will open the innings notwithstanding his poor show in the tri-series in Australia where he scored just 81 in five innings.

The players who were introduced today include Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan, Mithun Manhas, Rajat Bhatia, Pradeep Sangwan, Mayank Tehlan, Yo Mahesh and Amit Mishra.

Delhi Daredevils play their first game against Rajasthan Royals on April 19 at Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

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