Deccan aim to rise from bottom, take on Kochi

At the bottom of the points table, former champions Deccan Chargers would be aiming to put an end to their dismal show so far when they clash against Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

Updated: April 26, 2011 14:21 IST
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Kochi: At the bottom of the points table, former champions Deccan Chargers would be aiming to put an end to their dismal show so far when they clash against Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday. Their campaign has been far from impressive so far and the task is not going to be any easier for Deccan against a confident Kochi outfit.

Although their three-match winning run was halted by Rajasthan Royals, Kochi have done well and look a solid unit.

But Kumar Sangakkara's Chargers have been struggling to gel together as a team and that has reflected in their roller-coaster run so far.

In six matches they have played so far, the 2009 champions have won only twice while finishing on the losing side on four occasions.

Having lost to Mumbai Indians in their last outing, with both batting and bowling failing to make an impression, the chips are obviously down.

And they desperately need a win against Kochi, who have managed three wins and as many losses from their six games. The Deccan batting line-up has not been able to live up to the expectations except for Kumar Sangakkara and to some extent Shikhar Dhawan.

Besides, Sunny Sohal and Bharat Chipli have done a decent job in a couple of matches to bring a semblance of balance to the Chargers' batting.

As far as their bowling is concerned, the team would be hoping that South African pacer Dale Steyn and Manpreet Gony and spinner Amit Mishra would come out with flying colours. But Ishant Sharma and Daniel Christian will also have to get into the rhythm to cope with the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge, VVS Laxman and Parthiv Patel.

On the other hand, the Kochi Tuskers, who had been on a rampage, having registered three back-to-back victories, were stopped by the Rajasthan Royals in the last game.

But that should not have much bearing on Jayawardene and Co., who earlier stunned three powerful sides in the competition - defending champions Chennai Super Kings, runners-up of last season Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders - to emerge victorious.

Even though nothing seems to have clicked for the Tuskers in their last match, where they were bundled out for a mere 109, their batsmen and bowlers have been in good form.

It, however, remains to be seen whether Brendon McCullum, who missed the previous match due to a shoulder problem, would be included in the playing XI, but Jayawardene, Parthiv, Hodge and Laxman would certainly look to get the team back to the winning ways.

Kochi would also be hoping that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja continues his fabulous run.

The bowling also looks solid with the presence of veteran Muttiah Murlitharan, R P Singh, Vinay Kumar and Jadeja. And in front of the home crowd, Kochi, who start as favourites, are expected not to leave any stone unturned against the lowly Deccan Chargers.

The teams:

Kochi Tuskers Kerala: Mahela Jayawardene (c), Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Brad Hodge, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Thisara Perera, Raiphi Gomez, Rudra Pratap Singh, Ramesh Powar, VVS Laxman, Sreesanth, Muttiah Muralitharan, Owais Shah, Steven Smith, Balachandra Akhil, Deepak Chougule, Gnaneswara Rao, John Hastings, Michael Klinger, Chandan Madan, Sushant Marathe, Steve O'Keefe, Tanmay Srivastava, Padmanabhan Prasanth and Yashpal Singh.

Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (c), Ashish Reddy, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Akash Bhandari, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian, Kedar Devdhar, Shikhar Dhawan, Jean Paul Duminy, Manpreet Gony, Harmeet Singh, Ishank Jaggi, Michael Lumb, Chris Lynn, Ishan Malhotra, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Ishant Sharma, Sunny Sohal, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Cameron White, Arjun Yadav.

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