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Chargers short on confidence

Champions Deccan Chargers are not being able to recapture their form of last year. They lost the opening game of this year's IPL when, at one stage, it looked they would coast to a win, says Sunil Gavaskar.

cricket Updated: Mar 19, 2010 00:46 IST

Champions Deccan Chargers are not being able to recapture their form of last year. They lost the opening game of this year's IPL when, at one stage, it looked they would coast to a win. And, perhaps, that loss has dented their confidence.

It took a few years for players to understand that in the 50-over format, it was not necessary to go slam-bang from the first ball, and that wickets in hand in the last 10 overs invariably ensured a healthy score.

The Sri Lankans then showed that innovation is the name of the game as they cleverly exploited the 15-over field restrictions, even if it meant losing a few wickets.

In Twenty20 too, teams trying to hit from the first ball onwards are finding that consistency is eluding them. And even if they have players capable of tearing any attack apart, it is not easy particularly after the opposition has got a good score.

To chase successfully when the asking rate is over 10 an over, it is good to have an anchorman around whom other innings should revolve. Kallis demonstrated it ably when he first played the anchoring role and then took off vertically to get the Royal Challengers a famous win.

The Deccan Chargers have a fabulous batting line-up. Any team that has Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma in its ranks should be feared. Unfortunately, they all have been trying to hit the ball a little too hard and missing out on the timing factor.

No matter how hard you hit the ball, it will still fetch you a boundary or a six. Timing, more than anything else, is the key to dispatching the ball to the boundary. The ease with which Yusuf Pathan hits sixes is because of his timing.

The Kings XI Punjab will have to show that the loss to Royal Challengers despite getting 200-plus runs is not bothering them. They need Yuvraj to fire. It's a must-win match for both teams.