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The Preview by Kanishkaa Balachandran
April 26, 2009
Match factsApril 27, 2009
Three wins out of three have made Deccan Chargers, the table toppers, the surprise package of the tournament. A beaming Adam Gilchrist said at the presentation after beating Mumbai Indians that they got more points in the first week of the tournament than they ever managed last year. A big reason for that is the marked improvement in their bowling. A top-heavy batting has been backed by the efforts of RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Fidel Edwards who have not only picked wickets but also strangled the runs. They look a far more settled unit and Chennai Super Kings cannot afford to take them lightly.
Chennai will look back at their defeat against Delhi Daredevils with regret, given that they squandered a sound start and their next game against Kolkata Knight Riders was washed out a ball being bowled. The failure of their middle order to contribute is a worry and the early departure of Andrew Flintoff to injury is a setback. Rain denied them a chance of making a comeback against Kolkata.
Form guideDeccan: RP Singh currently holds the Purple Cap for the most wickets (8) and his team-mate Ojha is joint second with six. Both have managed to keep their economy rates under six, which has added potency to the bowling attack.
Chennai: Matthew Hayden, the tournament's leading run-scorer with 166 runs, has scored nearly 33% of the runs. At this rate, Chennai may not want to swap him for another overseas player.
Watch out forAdam Gilchrist v Matthew Hayden: The retired stars have topped the run charts for their respective teams and their reflexes are intact. Trusts them to share secrets about each other with the bowlers.
Team newsFor Chennai, Joginder Sharma hasn't made any significant contributions in the three games and it may not be a bad idea to replace him with a spinner. Deccan on the other hand may not want to tinker with their winning line-up.
Chennai: (probable) 1 Parthiv Patel, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 5 Albie Morkel, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 S Badrinath, 8 Joginder Sharma, 9 L Balaji, 10 Manpreet Gony, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
Deccan: (probable) 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt/wk), 2 Herschelle Gibbs, 3 Dwayne Smith, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 Venugopal Rao, 7 Ravi Teja, 8 Harmeet Singh, 9 Pragyan Ojha, 10 RP Singh, 11 Fidel Edwards.
Head-to-head recordAdam Gilchrist's half-century powered Deccan to a comprehensive seven-wicket win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium last year but Chennai had their revenge at Hyderabad winning by the same margin. Chennai's victory was significant because it had earned them a semi-final spot.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a sub-editor at CricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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