The Telegraph
Friday , April 25 , 2014
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Waiting for a Viru special: Balaji

New Delhi: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)’s Glenn Maxwell might have overshadowed Virender Sehwag with three match-winning knocks so far in IPL VII, but the team’s senior pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji feels a “special knock” is long overdue from the out-of-favour India opener.

While the Australian stole the limelight with knocks of 95, 89 and 95 in the first three matches this season, Sehwag looked a pale shadow of himself, managing scores of 19, 2 and 30.

Balaji said one “special knock” will turn things around for his former India teammate. “We are waiting for a special knock from Viru (Sehwag). So far Maxwell has been the star in our show. It’s amazing to have Maxwell in the side. He is a great talent but we also should not forget the contributions of (David) Miller, (Cheteshwar) Pujara. It is very important for us to believe in ourselves as a unit,” Balaji said.

“Sehwag has got off to good starts but hasn’t been able to convert them. We are waiting for him to play a big innings. He is such a player who can change the complexion of the game on his own and if he and Maxwell can fire together it will be a treat to watch. I feel it (a big knock) is not far away and it will come over the course of the tournament,” he said.

KXIP witnessed a dream start having won all their games so far, but Balaji warned his teammates against complacency.

“Definitely a great start to the season. There is no mantra as such… We just tried to keep it simple. We did nothing extraordinary but of course we have got extraordinary players to deliver, especially Maxwell and some of the big hitters.

“As a group, we know what is expected of us and what the plans are. Definitely, we have got the momentum and how we take forward this momentum, is very important,” he said. Balaji said getting the small things right has worked in their favour.

“It’s a long tournament. There is nothing called a good start. We have ticked all the boxes so far. There are still some areas where we need to work on. We are focusing on small things that will definitely enhance our performance on the field.