The much touted Deccan Chargers seem to be on the verge of oblivion as they struggle to stay afloat in the twenty20 after two successive defeats in DLF IPL Twenty20 ahead of the encounter with Rajasthan Royals, who have come back in style after an initial setback. Nobody in the Deccan Chargers team seem to be performing up to their potential, and that will be a big worry for the captain VVS Laxman – who himself is not doing well.
Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals is not in any great shape either, despite their victory against Kings XI Punjab – but they seem to be getting better alright.
A 9-wicket mauling by Virender Sehwag-led Delhi Daredevils at home ground has raised serious concerns about the cohesiveness of VVS Laxman’s talented bunch, after an initial rap in a shocker of pitch in Eden Gardens by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Nothing has worked so far for the famed Deccan Chargers, who were touted as the most formidable side by bookies, who would have surely changed the odds.
In fact odds are changing fast as the tournament progresses. Chennai Super Kings now emerges as top contenders along with Kolkata Knight Riders, with Delhi Daredevils, Bangalore Royal Challengers and Rajasthan Royals inching forward and Kings XI and Deccan Chargers slipping.
Mumbai Indians would be rated on the basis of their performance against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.
Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Venugopala Rao, VVS Laxman and big hitter Shahid Afridi were all failures so far for Deccan Chargers.
There were much expectations about the Aussies in particular in Deccan Chargers, with Andrew Symonds fetching the second highest bid of $1.35 million by the hyderabad franchise. Symonds went for 30 runs in an over in a Sehwag rampage and failed with the bat too. All of Adam Gilchrist’s experience did not help the Chargers either in their match against Delhi.
There was no devil in the Rajiv Gandhi stadium as Delhi Darevils captain Sehwag showed and hence Deccan Chargers have no one else to blame than their batting maestros for their abject failure to put up a big score.
While this may not necessarily be a verdict on the team, it requires tremendous grit to come back as a team, which the Deccan Chargers are capable of. Have the defeats affected the Hyderabad team for the worse, or do the battle-scarred veterans pull up their socks in the Deccan Chargers vs Rajasthan Royals match, we will know soon enough.
Shahid Afridi can be pardoned for the match against Delhi Daredevils was his first match, but the burden of expectations would weigh against him as Deccan Chargers take on Rajasthan Royals led by wizard of spin Shane Warne.
There are no demons in the Hyderabad wicket but Shane Warne can turn the ball and do all the tricks in any surface.
Deccan Chargers would have to earmark someone to have a go at him and turn his attention from the field to his own bowling and unsettle Rajasthan Royals. That is easier said than done, but Shahid Afridi might relish taking up that mammoth challenge.
Big hitting Aussie Shane Watson forced bookies to rewrite their priorities after an initial set back as he anchored an brilliant win for his team against the fancied Kings XI Punjab at Sawai Mansingh Stadium the other day.
Skipper Shane Warne would expect a repeat effort, but India discard Mohammad Kaif also has to fire for his team.
Afridi’s Pak team mate Kamran Akmal, now playing for Rajasthan Royals, announced his intentions in his first match but needs to carry on and bring in some unorthodox shots to unsettle the Deccan Chargers.
Yusuf Pathan is another Rajasthan Royals batsman who has lived dangerously, but building partnerships also is vital in some match scenarios even if that means your strike rate dips. Playing all the 20 overs is vital as VVS Laxman himself admitted after the encounter with Kolkata Knight Riders.
Despite the scars of two successive defeats, Deccan Chargers are the better team in this tussle. Only that they have to bury their past shame, draw upon their collective experience and hit Rajasthan Royals hard. Deccan Chargers are still considered favourites purely on the merit of the treasure trove of talent on their ranks. Only that they have to fire.
Deccan Chargers Team
VVS Laxman, Andrew Symonds, RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, Adam Gilchrist, Shahid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs, Chaminda Vaas, Scott Styris
Rajasthan Royals Team
Mohammad Kaif,Yusuf Pathan,Shane Warne,Munaf Patel,Younis Khan, Justin Langer, Kamran Akmal, Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Morne Morkel, Graeme Smith.