One of the strangest decisions that a captain has ever taken in the history of IPL was taken by the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) captain Virender Sehwag in the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2012, where he decided to replace the purple cap holder Morne Morkel with an unknown and rookie off-spinner Sunny Gupta.
Nobody could under the rationale behind that decision and the way it panned out, it certainly didn’t go in the favor of Delhi Daredevils at all. The Daredevils were up against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in that Qualifier 2 and not only did they lose the game by a gigantic margin of 86 runs, but Sunny Gupta also gave away 47 runs in his 3 overs.
I played Sunny Gupta because he was a favorable matchup against CSK: Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag didn’t talk a lot about that decision at that time, but recently while speaking as a pundit on Cricbuzz, Sehwag reflected on that decision and said that he decided to play Sunny Gupta because Sunny had not played till that stage of the tournament and nobody knew about his style of bowling.
Also, CSK had three left-handers in their line-up in the form of Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, and Albie Morkel, so an off-spinner was a favorable match-up against CSK as well. But, before Sunny Gupta could create problems for the left-handers, he was taken down by CSK’s right-handed opener Murali Vijay.
According to Virender Sehwag, these kinds of things happen in cricket where a decision is taken with a certain logic, but it backfires because something else happens in the game.
However, the logic behind the decision was the fact that Gupta was an unfamiliar commodity for the opposition at that stage and the opposition had three left-handers.
CSK didn’t win the IPL trophy that year though, as they were later beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final.