Virender Sehwag's return to form is a cause of concern for Kings XI Punjab coach Darren Lehmann ahead of their IPL game against Delhi Daredevils here tomorrow as he reckons the swashbuckling opener can take the game away from the opposition if "you let his bat do the talking".
"When he is on, he is on. He loves to play like that. He has been a great batsman for India and Delhi Daredevils for many years. We need to get some plans for him. But at the end of the day, if he is on, he can take the game away from the opposition. It's a simple as that," said Lehmann.
"It's good to watch him from far, but hopefully it doesn't happen against us. We will try to keep him down," he told reporters at the pre-match press conference today.
Sehwag hit a blistering unbeaten 95 to help Delhi Daredevils break the jinx of six straight defeats and open their account in the IPL with a thumping nine-wicket win over Mumbai Indians here yesterday.
High on confidence after registering a morale-boosting win over Pune Warriors last night, Kings XI Punjab would be hoping to continue the winning momentum and Lehmann said they need to dish out similar performances in their upcoming matches.
Chasing an imposing 186 for win, David Miller (80 not out off 41) and Mandeep (77 not out off 58) starred with the bat to guide Kings XI to a seven-wicket win over Pune last night.
"It's been only one game. We need to back ourselves and try to do it again and again. Once we start doing that and get some consistency in our game, then we can be in a good position. We need to keep performing like that," Lehmann said.
Lehmann also had words of appreciation for his young Indian players, but felt the foreign recruits need to step up and set examples for the youngsters to follow.
"They're great young kids. They're really talented and we're lucky enough to have a very young squad to work with.
For us it is about harnessing that skill to ensure they're a lot more consistent than what they have been. But having said that it is important for the experienced guys to get runs," Lehmann said.
"Till last night, the overseas guys hadn't really fired. Hussey got a couple of 40s, but they have to help the younger guys out and make sure the younger guys learn along the way," he said.
Talking about skipper Adam Gilchrist's prolonged poor run in the tournament, Lehmann said, "We would love to see more runs from his bat. He brings a lot more to the team."
"He is our captain and the leader. He keeps well although he missed one last night. We have to make sure we get the combination right. He is a captain and has done a really good job for us in the tournament. Yes, we would to see love more runs from him, and he too would love to score runs," he said.
Lehmann said tomorrow's game would be a tough one for the visitors.
"Delhi is a different wicket as compared to Mohali. They're a very good side at home, obviously they're coming off their first win, so it is a tough game. Every game is tough and we can't get carried away," he said.
On the availability of their star batsman Shaun Marsh, who has joined the team after undergoing a knee surgery, Lehmann said, "He won't be available yet. He is here with the squad but he is just coming back from a surgery. We don't want to take any risks with the players who're not fit to the level we want them to."
"He is still 3-4 days away from that. In a tournament like the IPL you can't risk that. So once he is fully fit and gets into the fielding drills and running between the wickets he will be available."