Deccan to defend top spot

The Deccan Chargers hope to consolidate their position at the top of the IPL with a win over the Rajastahn Royals.

The Rajasthan Royals need to find the rich vein of form which took them over the top at last year, as they currently languish in the bottom half of the table after six matches. They have five points from six games and a negative run rate of minus 1.27, the second-worst in the tournament thus far.

The batting woes for the Royals are exemplified by the fact that they only have one man in Yusuf Pathan ranked at No 10 in the Orange Cap standings for leading run scorers.

The Royals have shown a tendency to rely too much on the batting of Pathan, who has 145 runs at an average of 36.25. Their 38-run loss to the Chennai Super Kings in Centurion on Friday night was indicative of their current frailty at the top order, and their ability to be ruthless with the ball, said captain and coach Shane Warne.

‘I thought at 104 in 16 overs they should have made just 130 but our bowling was ordinary at that stage. We left a little too much to do at the end of the game. We just didn’t match those guys for intensity,’ said Warne.

The Deccan Chargers, on the other hand, are showing the intensity necessary and even their first loss of Season 2009 in South Africa to the Delhi Daredevils in Durban on Friday night – did not dislodge them from the top of the log.

The Chargers currently lead the Indian Premier League table with four wins from five games and eight points. Testimony to the teams find all-round performance is the fact that the Chargers currently have four players in the Orange and Purple Cap standings.

Herschelle Gibbs and captain Adam Gilchrist are placed third and sixth in the Orange Cap standings for leading run scorers in Season 2009, while R P Singh and Pragyan Ojha are placed second and fourth in the race to the Purple Cap for leading wicket taker in the tournament.