Deccan aim to break Hyderabad jinx
Deccan Chargers would not want a difference of one wicket to end their run in the Champions League. That's the margin they lost to Somerset by during a thrilling game in Hyderabad, and only victory against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday - which, if achieved, will be their first in nine attempts in their home city - can ensure their progress to the next round. Trinidad are more comfortably placed with a healthy net run-rate of 2.20, well above the others in the Group A. Even if they lose to Deccan, they still stand a chance of making the next round; they just have to ensure they don't lose by a margin big enough to bring their current net run-rate below Somerset's -1.00.
Somerset, in a helpless situation, can only hope T&T knock Deccan out, or knock themselves out by losing heavily.
Deccan have a side packed with batsmen, but failed to build on an explosive start provided by VVS Laxman and Adam Gilchrist in their tournament opener. The main problem, though, lay with their bowling. Having reduced Somerset to 99 for 7 in a chase of 154, they failed to shut them out. But with their experience, they hold a slight edge against T&T, who caused a huge surprise against Somerset with their clinical bowling display led by Dwayne Bravo. While Deccan were left demoralised by a last-ball defeat, the West Indian champions are fresh with confidence after a comprehensive win, and the outcome could well hinge on whether Deccan can use their experience to bounce back.
VVS Laxman played an uncharacteristic 35-ball 46 that represented a contrast to his normal style of play. He succeeded in delivering a flying start but wasn't backed up by contributions from Rohit Sharma and Andrew Symonds in the middle order. More will be expected from the two, who form an integral part of Deccan's batting arsenal.
Fidel Edwards was taken off the attack after bowling two beamers against Somerset, and Man of the Match Alfonso Thomas called that the turning point. Edwards' fiery pace, extra bounce and lethal swing will test his West Indian counterparts.
T&T's spin attack is a unique one, comprising a legspinner (Samuel Badree), an offspinner (Sherwin Ganga) and a chinaman bowler (Dave Mohammed). The trio were economical against Somerset, taking four wickets between them and conceding less than five runs an over. The Deccan batsmen, particularly their middle order, will be up against a varied attack.