Kings super at home but Chargers are no pushovers | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Kings super at home but Chargers are no pushovers

The Chennai Super Kings are formidable at home, but the Deccan Chargers have their tails up for the challenge. Kumar Sangakkara’s confidence stems from having the wherewithal to dismantle the home team’s batting line-up. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports.

cricket Updated: May 01, 2011 00:32 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

The Chennai Super Kings are formidable at home, but the Deccan Chargers have their tails up for the challenge. Kumar Sangakkara’s confidence stems from having the wherewithal to dismantle the home team’s batting line-up.

Sunday’s IPL match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium could well be decided by the outcome of the battle between the Super Kings’ batting and the Chargers’ bowling.

The Chargers’ main strike bowlers have all hit top form. Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma are in the top bracket on the wickets chart. Mishra and Steyn have nine wickets apiece (seven games) and Sharma has seven.

As the IPL teams have found out, run making is a difficult proposition on the Chepauk wicket because of its slow nature.

And, the home team has mastered the art of strangulation by using their slow bowlers effectively.

The Chargers will look to turn the tables by using the same ploy against them, and they have the men to do the job. Sangakkara will beef up his spin department and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha will in all probability partner Mishra.

Sharma will be high on confidence after his outstanding spell of five wickets against the Kochi Tuskers. Mishra has been a revelation and, more importantly, has been taking the big wickets.

“Mishra’s been outstanding, probably one of the best bowlers in the competition. He’s right there among the top wicket-takers. He’s probably our best bowler. And in the last game when the conditions suited bowling, Ishant (Sharma) showed how good a bowler he is,” said Chargers’ foreign signing, Cameron White.

Fast bowlers can be rendered ineffective on the sluggish track but Steyn doesn’t depend on assistance from the surface. His speed and movement in the air are a force in any condition and the Chargers will be looking up to him for wickets and inspiration.

With just three wins in seven games, the pressure is on the Chargers. It’s that stage of the tournament that the gap is starting to show and teams will find it difficult to recover from here.

Chennai have a two-point advantage, and will be high on confidence following two consecutive wins and a home record of seven wins in the last eight games.

“I think, our bowling unit has been generally very good and if we combine our batting and bowling, we’re a pretty good side ourselves and a tough team to beat.

“We have a good attack of pace and spin. We have Indian bowlers who know the conditions and, of course, Steyn,
one of the best fast bowlers in the world. Mishra and Ojha will provide variety,” said White.

Chennai coach Stephen Fleming retorted: “We have one of the best top order in the IPL, and they are all amongst the runs. We have big hitters in Albie Morkel and Dhoni. We have the batting to take on the Chargers attack.”