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Zeroing in on the Perfect XI

We were aiming to get maximum points before our important game against the Deccan Chargers on Monday, and we did just that with the win over the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday, writes Stephen Fleming.

cricket Updated: May 04, 2009 01:43 IST

We were aiming to get maximum points before our important game against the Deccan Chargers on Monday, and we did just that with the win over the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday. The boys are feeling pretty good and the confidence is high. We have been tossing the team around and are close to getting the best side together. We are definitely back on track!

This victory, along with the very satisfying win over the Rajasthan Royals, it was a must-win game for us, has only helped raise our self-belief, which is a good thing especially with some big headers round the corner.

Deccan Chargers

Strengths: Their top order is dangerous and can win a game on its own. It will be very important to get them early in the innings if we want to win. Having lost a very close match to them the last time, we will be concentrating on the first six overs.

Weaknesses: Batting depth. They have no real stability in the middle. The exception is Rohit Sharma and we will be looking out for him. There is too much emphasis on the top four, thus too much pressure, and we will need to exploit that.

On the other hand, we have a very deep batting line-up, and Jacob Oram, M.S. Dhoni and Albie Morkel are all due for big scores. Suresh Raina too is in amazing form with the bat and ball.

Opportunities: Our bowling is beginning to come together, with Shadab Jakati and Muttiah Muralitharan working well in tandem and we get all-round bowling power from Lakshmipathy Balaji and Sudeep Tyagi, who have adapted very well and look settled. We will, thus, be aiming to take early wickets, thus forcing their middle order to bat longer. This will, hopefully, help in keeping them to a low score should they bat first.

Jakati is a great guy and has been working hard. I am delighted he did so well, especially on debut, and am hoping he will carry this momentum forward.

Threats: Will always be the explosive batting by Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs. If we can deny them, we have a great chance of winning. Gameplan