Deccan Chargers take on Knight Riders in a must-win tie

Deccan Chargers will have to reverse their losing streak when they take on Knight Riders in a must-win match in Hyderabad to remain in the reckoning.

updated: May 16, 2008 16:33 IST
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Low on morale and languishing at the bottom of table, Deccan Chargers will have to reverse their losing streak when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in a must-win match in Hyderabad on Sunday to remain in the reckoning.

The badly-bruised Hyderabad team which has won only two of the eight matches it has played so far are sharing the bottom spot with Bangalore Royal Challengers on four points and would have to post a few victories to remain in contention for a semi-final berth.

Moreover, the VVS Laxman-led side will have to overcome the jinx of losing at home having failed to post a single win from three matches so far at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium with its two wins coming away from home - in Mumbai and Chennai.

The bad news for the team was that Laxman, who is recovering from a hand injury, is still doubtful for the crucial match and responsibility of steering the team would once again fall on stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist.

Gilchrist, who has rediscovered his form after initial failures, would have to repeat his fine form with the bat.

The Australian, who has made 284 runs in eight matches, is the highest run-getter for the team, followed by Rohit Sharma who has been consistent so far and has worn the 'Orange Cap' for highest run getter though he is now in the fourth place with 263 from eight matches behind Gautam Gambhir, Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag.

The Hyderabad side's main worry has been that some big batting stars in the team including Herschelle Gibbs and Shahid Afridi are yet to make their presence felt in the tournament though the Pakistani has taken seven wickets in six matches.

In the bowling department, except for RP Singh and city lad Pragyan Ojha, others are pedestrian in their performance so far.

The Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, would look to carry on their winning momentum after their impressive victory over Bangalore Royal Challengers in their last match.

The Kolkata team has reliable batsmen in David Hussey, and captain Sourav Ganguly, who also had an inspiring bowling spell in his side's victory over Bangalore Royal Challengers in Kolkata.

Hussey is the highest scorer for the team with 206 runs from seven matches. However, Kolkata will feel the absence of Brad Hodge, who has been called up for national duty.

Sourav Ganguly-led team also boasts of effective bowlers like Ajit Agarkar, Umar Gul, Ishant Sharma and Ashok Dinda.

Meanwhile, the soaring temperature would be a cause of concern for the players, especially the bowlers, as the match is scheduled to start at 1600 hours with the mercury levels in the city hovering around 40 degrees Celsius for the last few days.

The match is expected to be a high-scoring one as the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium traditionally favours the batsmen.

Deccan Chargers: VVS Laxman (Captain), Sanjay Bangar, Haldhar Das (wk), H Gibbs, Scott Styris, Adam Gilchrist (wk), D Kalyan Krishna, Pragyan Ojha, D Ravi Teja, PM Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, Chamara Silva, Chaminda Vaas, Y Venugopal Rao, P Vijay Kumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sourav Ganguly, Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Brad Hodge, Brendon McCullum (wk), Cheteshwar Pujara, Chris Gayle, David Hussey, Debabrata Das, Iqbal Abdulla, Ishant Sharma, L R Shukla, Mohammed Hafeez, Murali Kartik, Rohan Banerjee, Salman Butt, Saurashish Lahiri, Siddharth Kaul, Shoaib Akhtar, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Umar Gul, Yashpal Singh, Wriddhiman Prasanta Saha.