Chennai seek to stem the rot
Match factsTuesday, May 6 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)
The Big PictureFour days ago, the Chennai Super Kings were sitting on top of the points table with four wins out of four. Two defeats and a Trans-Tasman exodus later, they've slipped to No. 4. Chennai's loss of form, with the bat in particular, has been dramatic. They were swung out for 109 by Sohail Tanvir in their previous game, the lowest score by a team batting first in the IPL. On paper, they have batsmen who can fire, and bowlers who have shown the ability to contain. All teams are entitled to their bad days and Chennai would do well to erase those bad memories as soon as possible. They will take heart from the fact that their opponents Deccan Chargers are languishing right at the bottom of the points table. However, Deccan have several impact players such as Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi who, can single-handedly change the course of a match. The middle-order also needs to back up the efforts of Rohit Sharma, who is among the leading runscorers of the tournament.
Watch out for ...... Adam Gilchrist taking on Makhaya Ntini. Ntini bowled a maiden over against Rajasthan Royals and was one of the few bowlers who returned decent figures after the assault. Rohit taking on Muttiah Muralitharan should be another interesting battle in the middle overs.
Team newsShahid Afridi has had a rough time with the bat so far but his saving grace is his contribution with the ball so one would expect him to retain his place. Chamara Silva has been warming the bench since he arrived in India and could be slotted in instead of Herschelle Gibbs. Moreover, Rohit could use some support in the middle order and Silva's finishing abilities could be just what Deccan need.
Deccan Chargers: 1 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 2 VVS Laxman (capt), 3 Scott Styris, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Shahid Afridi, 6 Chamara Silva, 7 Arjun Yadav, 8 Sanjay Bangar, 9 RP Singh, 10 P Vijaykumar, 11 Pragyan Ojha
As the only specialist foreign batsman in the side, Stephen Fleming needs to fire after two failures. Parthiv Patel hasn't really pushed on after making starts. With only four overseas players to choose from, they are likely to retain their line-up from the previous game.
Chennai: 1 Parthiv Patel, 2 Stephen Fleming, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 S Vidyut, 5 Albie Morkel, 6 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 7 S Badrinath, 8 Joginder Sharma, 9 Manpreet Gony, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 Makhaya Ntini
IPL form (last five matches)Chennai Super Kings: WWWLL
Deccan Chargers: LLWLL
Stats and trivia
Quotes"I am doing well opening the innings, but if the situation requires, then we will certainly change the order. Perhaps even Afridi will open the innings, if necessary." VVS Laxman says he has plenty of options to choose from
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a staff writer at Cricinfo