The Deccan Chargers are hanging by a thread. The reigning champions have to win all their remaining five games to stay in the hunt.
Evidently, the dice hasn’t rolled well for them. If being deprived of the home advantage of playing in Hyderabad was not enough, their left-arm paceman Chaminda Vaas and R.P. Singh have proved easy fodder. If Vaas’s start to this IPL was spectacular, his decline has been equally startling.
Kemar Roach, the West Indian replacement, has gone for 80 from two matches without picking a single scalp. This has directly affected spinners who usually thrive if new-ball bowlers have done some damage. Pragyan Ojha has been stoic in the face of adversity, but profligate too which suggests that his skipper hasn’t been able to replace him even when the left-
arm spinner has gone for runs. This has meant extra work for batters and they have wilted under the pressure.
There is an overwhelming presence of stars such as Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds and Herschelle Gibbs, yet just four half-centuries have been managed between them.
Four of their five pending games are against the best teams. And two of their games are in Nagpur, a venue of which they do not retain a very favourable memory of after their two-run defeat against Rajasthan Royals.
Not that luck has only worked to their disadvantage. Two of their wins have been by narrow two and six-run margins. I think the champions have been most hurt by the form of Adam Gilchrist. The Aussie has over 200 runs, but an average of 23-odd runs hardly makes for a successful opener. His strike-rate of 178 is phenomenal, which again is a reflection that he has gone for too much too soon. He has struck fours and sixes galore, but the fireworks have been brief. Deccan Chargers, presently second from last, are hanging on with the slimmest of hopes. TCM