Deccan v Rajasthan, IPL 2010, Nagpur April 4, 2010

Deccan and Rajasthan eager to rediscover form


Match facts

Monday, April 5
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Deccan Chargers are on a four-match losing run that threatens to end their IPL campaign early. Going into their return match against Rajasthan in Nagpur, Deccan will be anxious to snap the streak and reignite their title-defence.

Rajasthan Royals, coming off two successive losses, have worries of their own to deal with. In both defeats, their bowlers, who were at the forefront of their earlier resurgence, have wilted under pressure from attacking batsmen. Dinesh Karthik and M Vijay made them sweat on the field, while Gautam Gambhir talked them down off it. Shane Warne's men have already silenced their critics once this season, by stringing four consecutive wins after an abject start to the campaign. Monday offers a chance to reprise their favourite script.

They will find comfort in the fact that their opponents are not only going through a bigger crisis of confidence, but also suffer from the same weakness as they do - a bowling attack that leaks runs in the end overs. Deccan have conceded 11.81 runs in the last six overs, often undoing their good work at the start of the innings. Rajasthan have not fared much better, and the team that bleeds lesser from this Achilles heel is likely to gain two crucial points in Nagpur.

At this stage, only Mumbai and Delhi seem assured of semifinal spots, while five other teams are closely matched in the fight for the remaining two. Deccan and Rajasthan currently languish just above bottom-ranked Punjab, and victory on Monday will make the difference between moving into the midfield and stagnating on the scrapheap.

Form guide (most recent first)

Deccan Chargers: LLLLW
Rajasthan Royals: LLWWW

Team talk

Sumit Narwal picked 3 for 36 in the defeat against Delhi, but on either side of that performance conceded a whopping 90 runs in five overs against Chennai. Siddharth Trivedi, who missed the last game, should take his spot. Shane Watson's inclusion has strengthened the batting, which means Paras Dogra is likely to miss out again.

Deccan are nowhere near solving their fast-bowling problems. Kemar Roach, who conceded 10 runs an over in his two games, was replaced by Ryan Harris, who went at exactly the same rate against Mumbai. Chaminda Vaas, who lost his spot to these two on reputation, deserves to reclaim the new ball. In five matches, he has eight wickets at 6.66 runs per over and could help Deccan's attack rediscover discipline. Two of the three Singhs - RP, Jaskaran and Harmeet - should make up the rest of the pace attack, but Adam Gilchrist will be counting on his in-form spinners, Pragyan Ojha and Rahul Sharma, to deliver.


Deccan 1, Rajasthan 4

Rajasthan have the upper hand in contests between the two teams so far, and the Ahmedabad hammering earlier in the tournament emphasised their dominance. Shaun Tait struck at crucial junctures to restrict Deccan to 148, before Yusuf, who was egged on by a verbal exchange with Symonds, smashed eight sixes to finish the chase in 15.4 overs.

In the spotlight

Shane Warne's dismissal of Herschelle Gibbs in Ahmedabad was reminiscent of his pomp, when the elements of turn, loop, drift and bounce all came together. While he has only managed six wickets in nine games, Warne has kept things reasonably quiet in the middle overs. The Rajasthan captain has the knack of lifting his game when it matters the most; expect a stirring performance from the greatest legspinner of all-time in this crucial game.

Herschelle Gibbs and Andrew Symonds have scored the most runs for Deccan this season - 237 and 232 respectively - but neither has been able to convert their uncharacteristically watchful starts into big contributions. Both of them have scored at strike-rates close to 120, and Deccan will hope that they can step it up on Monday.

Prime numbers

  • Adam Gilchrist's form has mirrored his side's - in the first four games he scored 149 runs, but in the next four, he could manage only 29. Deccan have lost each of those games.

  • With 12 wickets to his name, Pragyan Ojha is joint-second highest wicket-taker in the tournament, but with an economy rate of 7.80 per over, he is the most expensive of the top six bowlers in the list

  • Yusuf Pathan is fifth in the race for the orange cap with 278 runs. Of batsmen with at least 200 runs, he has been the second-fastest run-scorer, striking at 179.35, second only to Robin Uthappa

The chatter

"We have to win five out of the next six games. We have to get our act together or else we are out of the tournament."
Darren Lehmann, the Deccan coach, is clear about the task at hand. What about his team?

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Visakh on April 6, 2010, 5:04 GMT

    @jaffar143 i still stand by what i said on laxman see the math with rajastan what was he doing ? cant he atleast play like dravid if he cannot do big hits why he tries them each time and makes a mockery of himself.I would prefer monish misra instead of there any reason for droping him after making around 30 runs in 20 balls.See how our batsmen like laxman anirudh singh azhar bilakhia played against rajastan surely misra is better than these 3.Correct me if iam wrong.

  • John on April 5, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    The problems for Deccan Chargers, as always has been, is there top heavy international stars. Dropping one of Gilchrist, Gibbs or Symonds is not a solution, as they are the three best batsmen in the team. The Chargers lack finishers, after the international starts set up a good start. Instead of going 1/2/3 in the batting order, Symonds at 4 or maybe even 5 wouldn't be too bad of an option. Laxman did open successfully with Gilchrist, when the Chargers in the first few matches, and I think those were their best starts. Gibbs, Sharma and Symonds do make a good middle order, with Symonds at no. 5 making him a finisher.

    The bowling woes of the Chargers still continue, with RP Singh not able to find the form of the first two editions, and the international bowlers not coming through as expected. Though Ryan Harris is only 1 match old, you don't have to look too far to see which bowler was the most economical or has taken the most wickets. Get back Chaminda Vaas!!

  • Harini on April 5, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Out of the all the other teams we have the worst local set up. The reason the teams like mumbai, blore and delhi are winning is they have local talent. In MI they have Sachin, Dhawan, Sourav Tiwari , Rayadu , Bhajji and Zak. In Delhi they have Viru, Gautti, Karthik, Mishra and Blore have Anil, Virat, Manish Pandey, Robin etc. But in Dc Rohit and Ojha are only good ones and Rohit isnt in a great form too. I hope these guys get in new people next year but i m still hoping we win this year.

  • Kapil on April 5, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    I think the main reason behind DC's failure is the lack of Indian talent. See the top 4 teams in the table at present: MI,DD,RCB,CSK All are there because their Indian Players are performing alongside the overseas players.

  • Dummy4 on April 5, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    The only problem with DC is Gilchrist is not firing this year. Also the experiment trying mishra has backfired. mishra in particular looked like a schoolkid trying to bash every ball and his misses were baffling to me. Playing raviteja in his place is very essential as he possesesses good technique and dropping gibbs to make way for vass wud be another move i wud appreciate.


  • Sivarama on April 5, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    MI and RCB doing well bcoz of Sachin and Kallis. T20 is not just about slogging. Both Sachin and Kallis have scored at a good rate, bcoz they were able to place their shot well. DC has got an excellent stroke player, who is often ignored. Most of you would have guessed it right. The team needs VVS. He should play an anchor role and he can find the gaps very well. A 40 balls 50 from VVS is good than compared to 10 balls 25 from Gilly.

    It is Indian Premier League and how come we can dare to ignore our own VVS Laxman

  • Srinivas on April 5, 2010, 11:41 GMT

    I am a big fan of DC ofcourse am from AP - Looks like gilly is making unnescessary fuss for nothing - he is really messing the team combo - may be he is also having too much regional love to australia - still dont u/stand for wht reason he kept C.VAS aside- initially thght he is chking the bench strength - bt its too late to make experiments. Laxman is a class player bt not for IPL/T20 format, pls make him sit, R.Teja is having the calibre, encourage him -he has the ability to turnout the match (at times proven he is bette than AT Rayudu of MI). Sumanth is potnetial bt looking not serious about the game, should concntrate more on the play. Rohit should feel the responsibility - overall i hv clearly noticed tht DC players are playing with out proper mood and sheer responsibility - Managment of DC shd look into this matter seriously and resolve any issues pertaining internally. dear al nothing personal here, its for the betterment of DC only. CHEERS

  • Dummy4 on April 5, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    I think the prob with DC is the team is having all Right hand batsmen Except for Gilly,the Left and right combination is very effective in KXII VS KKR and CSK VS RR matches, So hoping that they will get it right in todays match.. Go chargers...

  • M on April 5, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Guys i suuport DC in IPL. I think they are not lossing matches because of bowling they lost matches because of batting. They failed to chase average totals and they score low totals. their batting depends on three batsmen only (Gill, symond and Gibs). Every time they fails they lose match. They has'nt got any good indian batsman like Utapa, Pandy, Murli vijay, Raina, etc. While every other team got atleast two or three good indian batsmens. I hope three star batmens deliver today. Finger crossed.

  • Dharma on April 5, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    The main problem with DC is their bowling. There should be two foreign bowlers. looking at the options, Vaas and Harris are best. Vaas is the best new ball bowler. Harris can be a good bowler at death. spinners Ojha and Rahul sharma are OK. So, the bowling attack of Vaas, Harris, Ojha and Rahul should be good. 5th bowler can be symonds/rohit/suman. Though Gibbs is currently the highest run getter for DC, he should make way for Vaas. Even replacing Symonds with Dwayne Smith should be fine.

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