It's time to establish a fresh identity
Deccan Chargers' coach Darren Lehmann has a lot to worry about since the core of the team he built over the last two years has disintegrated and he has very little time to prepare the squad for the tournament opener. Abhijeet Kulkarni reports. Match boxcricket Updated: Apr 09, 2011 01:51 IST
As one drives in to Hyderabad from the Shamshabad airport, MS Dhoni's men in the Chennai Super Kings colours are the first to welcome you. It needs a far bigger effort to spot the hoarding of local team Deccan Chargers in that bunch.
The team's story is no different. Though the city of Nizams is gearing up to watch the members of the World Cup winning squad in action here, even the loyal fans are still unsure whom to root for in their own team.
The 2009 Indian Premier League champions have undergone a complete overhaul and the biggest Indian name in the 27-member squad is a toss up between left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and India discard Ishant Sharma.
Though the official version of the Deccan Chargers management is that the team belongs to the city and the absence of a big India star would hardly be a problem, even they are aware that a special performance from any local boy in the opening game against Rajasthan Royals would get the crowd interested.
Coach Darren Lehmann also has a lot to worry about since the core of the team he built over the last two years has disintegrated and he has very little time to prepare the squad for the tournament opener.
"There are new players in every franchise. We hope our Indian kids gel well with the foreign players… I would have loved to have everyone together earlier. But you can't do much about that because they have all been playing in the World Cup," Lehmann said.
It is also a sort of 'home coming' for the team. They did not play a single match in Hyderabad in the last two editions and lost all the home games here in the first edition. "It is good to be back and play in front of the home crowd," said Lehmann. "We hope to put the record straight this time from the very first game."
Every Hyderabadi will be hoping that happens.