Deccan Chargers v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2012, Cuttack April 21, 2012

Crunch time for struggling Deccan


Match facts

Sunday, April 22, Cuttack
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Deccan Chargers are in trouble, part of it their own doing. They should have won three of the four games they've lost in a row, but were let down by jittery nerves and poor death bowling combined with equally poor fielding - Kevin Pietersen was dropped three times on his way to a match-winning century in their previous game. Their coach Darren Lehmann was forced to say they'd fielded like an Under-14 side. In an otherwise open tournament thus far, Chargers are an exception and desperately need a revival at a different home venue. The Barabati Stadium in Cuttack has hosted two IPL games (in 2010), and the Chargers won both the high-scoring contests, albeit with a significantly different team.

Kolkata Knight Riders have had a mixed IPL so far but have won three of their last four. Though a strong batting unit, it has lacked consistency; their bowlers have fared much better. The race for the top four is likely to intensify in the coming days and Knight Riders, following a comprehensive win over Kings XI Punjab in their previous game, can be confident against their bottom-placed opponents whose chances are gradually slipping away.

Players to watch

Among the Knight Riders batsmen yet to deliver is Brendon McCullum, former captain, who has struggled to get going this IPL. A potentially ruthless opener who can swing games with his attacking strokeplay, Knight Riders have only managed to extract only 26 runs from him in the three games they've played him in.

Along with the team, under some pressure is Chargers' captain Kumar Sangakkara. Placed with the task of getting Chargers back in contention this IPL, he'll need to do his bit with the bat upfront.

Stats and trivia

  • Sangakkara is second on the list of IPL wicketkeepers with most dismissals in the league. He has 42 from 53 games, Adam Gilchrist tops the list with 50 from 65. Sangakkara, though, has the IPL record for most dismissals in an innings; he took five catches against Royal Challengers Bangalore last year.

  • Chargers took Rajasthan Royals' Amit Singh for 55 in four overs - the most expensive spell this IPL. But one of their own, Manpreet Gony, was smashed for 54, next in the list, in four overs, by Chennai Super Kings, his former team.


    "We will have to work on lot of things and perhaps the boys are not listening to what is being told to them. We have to plan different strategy, the dressing room atmosphere is quiet."
    Darren Lehmann had said this after the defeat to the Royals, and things wouldn't have changed much after the defeat to Delhi Daredevils

    "In the first two matches I thought I needed to go and bat at No. 3 and after that there was a need to open the innings. I will again go back to No. 3 if needed."Gautam Gambhir is open to changing his position in the batting order

    Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sifiso on April 24, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    @SLhesh, I know it's a bit harsh, but I couldn't agree with you more. Dan Christian needs to be dropped. The Chargers needs someone who can partner Steyn at death bowling and Rusty is just the perfect candidate for that... The Chargers have been let down by some poor bowling and fielding. There just hasn't been anyone to put his hand up to partner Steyn, who so far has played a lone hand in all the games as far as bowling goes... It's sad to watch a guy that's bowled the over of the tournament so far be part of such a mediocre team!

  • Ish on April 23, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    YES ! ! YEs ! ! one more win for KKR (yes, very much without Shakib..KKR does not need him) I don't understand why the Bangladeshi fans are seeing only that Shakib is the number-one all rounder in ODIs. Please go on espn and check out his statistics in T20. It's miserable and disappointing. Every other KKR FOREIGN player has better statistics than Shakib in T20. Shakib does not understand T20. And his IQ in T20 is next to nill. lolzzz.

    And don't forget all these bangladeshi fans will come pouncing back when KKR loses the next match saying that they lost because they didn't take shakib. I think Shakib is pathetic player in T20.

  • Phani on April 22, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Gambhir should obvioulsy play at 3 or 4. He can Play spinners much better than any one in his side ( Kallis too does). I feel give a yound player to open the innings & let Gambhir anchor the innings. Take a leaf out of Ganguly's dropping himself to 3 for his team. DC never looked like what it was 2 years ago. I hardly feel any chance for them

  • shameem on April 22, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Chargers batted well in their last game. If they bat well today then ,,,,,, Another KKR's loss (if that happens today) will result points table appearing very interesting! You never know -- it's T20, interesting things always happen here!!!!

  • abhishek on April 22, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    gambhir should open the innings with mccullum. And if they are in good situation, then promote yousuf up the order, so that he will get little time to settle.. As matches are goin on he is becoming less confident. need to boost up his confidence. once he starts going on, then easily he will destroy any bowling attack..

  • Saeed on April 22, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    I think KKR's strategy of opening with Gambhir & playing Kallis @ #4 is a good one. They need Kallis experience to guide the middle order. Shakib's all round skills would be vital @ #6 ....... but above all, Yusuf Pathan needs to fire with the bat.

    1-Bisla, 2-Gambhir, 3-Tiwari, 4-Kallis, 5-Das, 6-Shakib, 7-Yusuf Pathan, 8-Brett Lee, 9-Bhatia, 10-Sunil Narine, 11-Balaji.

  • shameem on April 22, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    This guy Kalam Miya plays good cricket. Last match he hit Chawla's worst ball so well it deposited to short fine leg. So he is definitely A PLAYER TO WATCH. I am gonna watch Kalam miya again Insha-Allah --- I do totally agree with Sehwag_Is_Ordinary.

  • Heshan on April 22, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Atleast today have the RIGHT TEAM DC..!!! DROP DANE CHRISTINE!!! Bring in Rusty Theron..

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    Kallis and Gambhir should open again ... with McCullum one down and Bisla, Tiwary, Pathan, Bhatia and Das to follow ... Also they should stick with Narine, Balaji and Lee ... Hope KKR win this big !!! Korbo Lodbo Jeetbo reeee !!!

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    There is big big chance of a new record this IPL: a team will be winless throughout the tournament.

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