Deccan Chargers bowler Ankit Sharma (C) celebrates the wicket of unseen Chennai Super Kings batsman Murali Vijay during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match. AFP
The Deccan Chargers can take heart from the ignominy the Columbia Lions had to face in American college football when they lost 44 matches in a row from 1983-88, the longest in the history of competitive team sports. Or they can ask Shakib Al Hasan how Bangladesh plan to come out of the 12-match losing streak in T20.
The Chargers’ position may not be as precarious, but losing the first five out of the 16 matches they are scheduled to play in the group league, means the task is getting onerous. Whether they will be up to it is a separate issue.
While catching has been a worry in the last three matches, it’s the frail middle order that troubled them the most in Sunday’s loss.
After Shikhar Dhawan was the lone bat to shine, the pressure was on Dale Steyn, who has otherwise been successful in getting them early breakthroughs.
KKR too haven’t had perfect finishes despite being set relatively low targets in the last few matches. “We are far from playing our best cricket,” said captain Gautam Gambhir. “We still feel that our best is yet to come.”
Gambhir went soft on Yusuf Pathan despite another fruitless outing on Sunday. “If we win games without a major contribution from Pathan, it shows the depth in our squad. But I am 100% sure that he will win us 2-3 games,” said Gambhir. Two successful chases have given Kolkata some relief.