Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag justified not playing Australian Glenn McGrath in any of the Indian Premier League matches, saying that the fast bowling legend was not match-fit and was also not in the form he was in last year.
Asked if McGrath could have stopped Adam
Gilchrist's onslaught in the IPL semifinal on Friday night, Sehwag said: "I don't think anyone could have stopped him.
"I don't think we missed McGrath because he has not played in the last one year. He was not in the kind of form he was last year. Dirk Nannes was fantastic right through the tournament and today was Gilchrist's day."
McGrath has expressed his disappointment with the Daredevils team management for ignoring him right through the tournament and not allowing him to prove his fitness by playing in any of the matches.
McGrath's omission has been a talking point in IPL and it left his former teammate Gilchrist, who led Deccan Chargers to the final with a hurricane 85 off 35 balls, surprised.
"I am very surprised that Glenn McGrath didn't get a chance to bowl in the tournament. But you can't be too critical. They had set the benchmark during the entire tournament. They were the team who were at the top and the other teams were chasing them. Their overseas players have served them really well.
"I was surprised that McGrath didn't get an opportunity but that does not mean that they needed him to play today. Considering the fact that Dirk Nannes and other overseas players have done well, it is hard to leave international guys out of the playing XI," Gilchrist said.
The decision to bench McGrath for the entire tournament raised many eyebrows as he was a star performer in Daredevils' semi-final appearance last year.
But Sehwag maintained that McGrath's presence would have made little difference.
"It is very difficult to stop a batsman like Gilchrist when he is in flow. If the strategy break was before the 10th over, then we had a chance. But he had finished the game before the 10th over and they required around five runs an over. The only chance you have is to wait for him to make a mistake."
"I was not expecting that kind of performance from Deccan Chargers. I knew if we got Gilchrist early on, they do not have the players who could win them matches. Because they lost a couple of close games - they lost against us also. But the way Gilchrist batted we couldn't do anything."