Deccan will look to get their campaign back on track against a resurgent Chennai in East London on Monday.
The slow starters in Season 2009 of the Indian Premier League have started to fight back and one of
these the Chennai Super Kings take on the Deccan Chargers for the second time in the league.
The last time the two sides met, in Durban a week ago, Deccan, given a great start by openers Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist, were convincing winners by six wickets as they went to the top of the leader board in the IPL league standings.
Just how quickly fortunes can change in the IPL, though, is shown by the Deccan’s record since then. They have lost to the Delhi Daredevils and the Rajasthan Royals, and if Chennai beat them on Monday they could leap to the top of the standings. That would mark great progress for the men in yellow, after eight games.
Interestingly, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai were among the bottom half of the league after five matches, having won only one of those.
Their batting looks solid and little wonder then they have in their midst the league’s Orange Cap holder and leading run scorer Matthew Hayden as its spearhead. The Australian is more than ably supported by teammate Suresh Raina who has moved into second place in the Orange Cap standings over the weekend.
The team also boasts plenty of other options like Dhoni, Albie Morkel and Jacob Oram.
Not to mention the spinners for Chennai that have turned in a great performance in their 18-run victory over Delhi in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Nobody discounts the threat of Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan, but the star performer on that occasion was left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati, who grabbed 4-24 to earn the man-of-the-match award.
‘I have been working hard with [bowling coach] Venkatesh Prasad in the nets, and awaiting my chance,’ Jakati said.
Dhoni praised Jakati for mixing his pace well. ‘And he isn’t afraid to flight the ball. The wickets here are quite worn because it’s the end of the season, so the spinners are getting more purchase as games progress. Also, batsmen feel they should be going after the slow bowlers from the start,’ Dhoni said.
Deccan captain Gilchrist said after losing to the Rajasthan Royals that the errors his side had made were the difference between winning and losing. ‘On another day the 20 percent that’s bad, goes unnoticed,’ he added.
This weekend they lose the services of West Indian fast bowler Fidel Edwards as he travels to England ahead of the first test there – but they will be joined by Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds in the