Deccan hope for turnaround after break
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Start time 1600 (1030GMT)
Deccan Chargers have had a week to get over the last-ball heist by Rohit Sharma in Visakhapatnam, a game the Chargers shouldn't have lost. For a team struggling on form and balance, they had an opportunity to put one across the tournament contenders, but panicked. It could have been a different story if they hadn't bowled so many full tosses, and if Dale Steyn had more support. Against Rajasthan Royals, they will start as underdogs.
The Royals hit the summit of the points table after their win against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Ajinkya Rahane slaughtered the relatively inexperienced Indian bowlers in the attack and the Chargers bowling attack isn't the most threatening. There could be a case to give Brad Hodge an opportunity right at the top of the order, if Rahul Dravid moves down.
Players to watch
At this point, the Chargers would love to have a bowler as good as Dale Steyn to partner him. His countryman Richard Levi got a working over in Visakhapatnam, playing, missing, weaving and losing his middle stump. He bowled with the kind of pace rarely seen on Indian pitches and conceded just 12 off his four overs for his three wickets. In hindsight, his captain should have bowled him for the final over.
Siddharth Trivedi has been an unsung hero for the Royals, picking up 47 wickets in 50 games overall. He compensates for his lack of pace with his nagging line, bowled from back of a length. He attacked the stumps regularly against Royal Challengers, getting all wickets bowled. On a slow pitch, he can be difficult to get away.
These teams played each other just once last season, with the Royals chasing down 138 easily winning by eight wickets in Hyderabad. Johan Botha was the top scorer for the Royals with an unbeaten 67.
Stats and trivia
"We had got into a winning situation but failed to close the match (against Mumbai Indians). When we get into situations like that, we need to clinch the games and win."
Kumar Sangakkara wants his team to seize the day.
"That's the beauty of Rajasthan Royals. We don't have too many big names apart from one superstar (Shane Warne) who used to play here and now he is retired."
Owais Shah says the team has learnt to use its resources well.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo