Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Deccan Chargers, IPL 2011, Kochi April 26, 2011

Kochi's chance to capitalise on Deccan's weaknesses


Match facts

Wednesday, April 27, Kochi
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

With a bowling attack that seems to be currently operating with just two men and a batting line-up that has collectively made two half-centuries in six games, it's no surprise that Deccan Chargers find themselves in last position in the table. Apart from Amit Mishra and Dale Steyn, the rest of the bowlers have struggled to attack as well as contain. Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha have together conceded 254 runs for four wickets, and big signing Daniel Christian has been taken for more than nine an over.

Their leading run-getter Kumar Sangakkara has had several starts but a top score of 49, Christian has been almost as disappointing with the bat as he has been with the ball, and JP Duminy hasn't got going. The fact that Deccan lack a top-class Indian batsman was always going to test them; their domestic batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Bharat Chipli and Sunny Sohal haven't inspired the same confidence as a member of the national side would have.

Deccan's opponents on Wednesday, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, return to their base for the first of two home games after having their three-match winning streak halted by Shane Warne on a tricky Jaipur pitch with unpredictable bounce. They should find the Nehru Stadium surface more to their liking and would want to capitalise against a misfiring Deccan outfit.

Form guide (most recent first)

Kochi: LWWWL (seventh in points table)
Deccan: LWLWL (tenth/last in points table)

Team talk

Kochi have some decisions to make since Brendon McCullum is expected to recover from his shoulder injury in time for the Deccan game. Both Thisara Perera and Muttiah Muralitharan played against Rajasthan Royals as McCullum missed out. Now there will be place for only one of the duo. Raiphi Gomez has done little with the bat, and his seven overs have leaked 78 runs. With Kedar Jadhav being wasted down the order, Kochi could look at giving Sreesanth or Ramesh Powar a game in place of Gomez.

Harmeet Singh didn't do too badly in his only game of this IPL, against Delhi Daredevils, and Deccan could consider bringing him in for Ojha. Duminy or Michael Lumb should replace the woefully out-of-form Cameron White. Deccan also continue to bench Rusty Theron, persisting with Christian.

Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team selector.

In the spotlight

They are close friends on the field and off it. One handed the national captaincy to the other and became his deputy. When the other resigned after the World Cup, the now-deputy followed suit. Sri Lankan cricket in the new millennium has been synonymous with Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, two of the best batsmen and sharpest brains in the game. Contrasting personalities - one flamboyant and articulate, one polished and perceptive - they are proud competitors, and their face-off as opposing captains could be an interesting battle of wits. They might even sit down together and dissect the game over a drink after it's done.

Prime numbers

  • Amit Mishra and RP Singh are the only bowlers from the two sides to have conceded less than seven an over this season (min. two games). Mishra is also Deccan's highest wicket-taker, with eight from six matches
  • Ravindra Jadeja has the best strike-rate this season among the two teams: 151.40, which is also the sixth-best in the tournament (min. 100 runs)

The chatter

"I guess he is our enemy tomorrow."
Finally, Mahela Jayawardene finds himself and Kumar Sangakkara on opposing sides

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    Hope Kochi will win today, We love our Mahela. Wonderful captain

  • Abhimanyu on April 27, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Let's see which SriLankan outwits the other in the battlefield today. Mahela and Sanga - go at it with no holds barred. The world is watching.

  • Mathew on April 27, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    I just hope Sree gets a game and puts in a decent performance. I cannot believe that the man who bowled that snorter to Kallis in SA and kept so much discipline has not performed better than this. Sree, why don't you just keep cool, think of this a a test match and keep bowling at the off-stump and thereabouts with an occasional short ball thrown in. Think of this as practice for the England tour.

  • Lalith on April 27, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Brain VS Brain Kumar's brain was not good enough to win WC. Can he beat his deputy? I hope both will bat magnificently so that we can watch a good match.

  • Rajeev on April 27, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    DC's two big signings are in their worst phase of their career. White should be replaced by Duminy, Christian by Theron and Ojha by Ashish Reddy/Ishank Jaggi. Though their domestic players failed to impress so far, they are not trying to replace with other Indian batsman. How often you see it when u have a squad of 25 players ?

  • Zaheer on April 27, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    I hate sreesanth but he should play today because kochi lack good bowlers. Even though sreesanth give runs on his day he might be dangorous

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    DC should take the risk of playing Duminy and Lumb, Lumb is really a good option opening the innings , play with ishanth ojha amit and steyn , time to bring the changes or we are heading south just as first season ...

  • abith on April 27, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    Whenever Sree is playing, It wont be 20-20 match!!!! it will 21-20 match bcoz of his no balls and wides!!! please consider that!!! an extra over can change the game completelyyyyyyyyy :(

  • Praveen on April 27, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    feel sorry for maehla and sanga because both these teams lack quality indian batters, and with only 4 foreign players allowed it's difficult to strike a good balance

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    Sree must play today... A player like sree warming the bench will loosen his confidence and captain needs to utilise the talents of sree. He has got a lot of energy and talent. Let him use it anyway in favour of the team. This is what I feel about sreesanth.

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