Beware of the charge of the Deccan brigade. The minnows of last year are looking like giants in IPL II and given the way they have won the first three games, it has to be said that Deccan Chargers are the favourites against the Chennai Super Kings on Monday in this carnival.
Why do we say this? No 1 is the brief track record of Adam Gilchrist's team. No. 2 is the body language of the players who are enjoying and celebrating the success of each other. Most crucial and No. 3 is the combination they have sorted out. Few teams in the brief history of IPL have seen all foreigners contributing in a single game and that's exactly what the overseas players of the Chargers did on Saturday, against the Mumbai Indians.
The Super Kings in contrast have had some disappointment to contend with on this front so far, with the exception of Matthew Hayden. The rest of their foreign recruits are yet to justify their superior billing and remuneration. Andrew Flintoff would have topped this list but thankfully for last year's losing finalists, he has gone.
The absence of big Englishman should give M.S. Dhoni's team some flexibility in terms choosing personnel because at $1.5 million, Flintoff had to be an automatic choice in the XI although his economy rate was higher than his price. With him injured, the team can now think of method instead of madness, given that a lot of people consider this whole business to be an exercise in the latter.
Let's not get into cricketing nitty-gritty here. There is little room for that in this marriage of reason and concepts to the contrary.
Why else would the teams have four foreign stars and a mix of Indian bigwigs and unheard of ones in the XI? It's a show designed to entertain and the game in its purity is still to blossom in this razzmatazz.
To put it simply, the Super Kings need to improve their game by leaps and bounds to put it across the Chargers. How will they do it? Can they can do it at all? These questions will have to wait until Monday.