Deccan Chargers - For better fortunes on home soil
by Jinu Sabastian
|Player:||HH Gibbs, AC Gilchrist, RJ Harris, VVS Laxman, PP Ojha, KAJ Roach, RG Sharma, RP Singh, DR Smith, SB Styris, TL Suman, A Symonds, WPUJC Vaas, Y Venugopal Rao|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2009/10|
DateLine: 10th March 2010
The promos of the upcoming Indian Premier League 2010 shows a relaxed Adam Gilchrist listening to music on his ipod. Almost simultaneously a voice-over starts stating that they had won the IPL 2009 championship on the South African soil and now they would replicate the same success on the Indian soil.
Deccan Chargers has the worst record among the eight franchises. They have failed to register a single win in nine matches at their home ground which include the Champions League T20 2009.
The Deccan Chargers during the first edition tried to blast their way to the title. During the inaugural auction they bought almost all the power-hitters available including shelling out a whopping 1 million dollars for Andrew Symonds. A side packed with an explosive Adam Gilchrist, impetuous Herschelle Gibbs, maverick Shahid Afridi, volatile Andrew Symonds, crafty Chaminda Vaas and versatile Scott Styris the side was tagged favourites to lift the championship without breaking a sweat. If the foreign recruits were not intimidating enough the side had some of the finest upcoming Indian talents in the form of silken Rohit Sharma and an accurate RP Singh. The task of leading the explosive and dangerous looking side was given to VVS Laxman though some doubted his ability to fit in the scheme of things.
The campaign was doomed from the very first match. Barring a frenzied century from the millionaire Andrew Symonds the side never threatened to stay true to their reputation. The first edition saw the side slumping to defeats and VVS Laxman withdrawing from the tournament due to an unfortunate hand injury. The leadership mantle fell on Gilchrist and even he could not stop the slide as the side tasted one defeat after another before finishing last.
The second season saw a complete change in strategy. Home-grown players were recruited and more importantly Adam Gilchrist was made the skipper of the side. The change in the leadership saw the side from Hyderabad winning the first four matches on a trot. Though they suffered some reversals the side went from strength to strength. Rohit Sharma, Venugopal Rao and Suman formed the core of the middle order and also offered tremendous value as spinners. Pragyan Ojha continued his upward journey as he once again shone in the second edition. Adam Gilchrist was at his explosive best as he led from the front throughout the tournament.
Now as the third season gets set to kick off, Deccan Chargers has once again got tagged as the favourites to reach the final four.
Though the team looks well settled on closer look they do have issues of their own. The question mark over Herschelle Gibbs' form is worrisome while Gilchrist who has being out of cricket for long could find it slightly difficult to get back into the groove. Andrew Symonds' possesses on of the most volatile mindset in today's cricketing world and it would be interesting to see how he goes about in this edition. The mercurial all-rounder has made it crystal clear that he is happy to turn out for the Deccan Chargers and his days in the Australian colours are over.
Deccan have signed up Mitchell Marsh, Ryan Harris, Dwayne Smith and Kemar Roach for the third edition who can turn out to be key performers. The signing up of Mitchell Marsh has surprised many but those who has seen the 18 year old from close quarters swear that he is the next big thing in the Australia cricket. Ryan Harris has hit a purple patch in his international career and the Chargers management will be hoping that h carries the form into the IPL. The signing of Kemar Roach will give the side the firepower in its bowling to blow away the opposition.