Inconsistent Chargers face IPL laggard KKR

Deccan Chargers will be hoping to cash in on KKR's horrid form to take themselves a step closer to the semi-final spot when the two teams meet on Saturday.

updated: May 15, 2009 16:52 IST
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Close on the heels of their suicidal 12 runs loss against Delhi, Deccan Chargers will be hoping to cash in on Kolkata Knight Riders horrid form to take themselves a step closer to the semi-final spot when the two teams meet in an Indian Premier League match on Saturday.

Having swept aside Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings with consummate ease, Adam Gilchrist's men clearly looked the most high-flying squad in this year's IPL before they witnessed a wretched stretch with three defeats on the trot.

The three successive defeats also marked the start of an inconsistent run for the Hyderabad outfit, who added further trouble to their campaign by gifting Delhi their last match.

But Deccan skipper Gilchrist will be in no mood to repeat his mistake and a shattered Knight Riders side provide him the ideal opportunity to bring his side's rampaging form back.

If Gilchrist, Dwayne Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Rohit Sharma were not enough, Deccan's batting has been bolstered by the return of Andrew Symonds who proved his detractors wrong with quick fire contributions in his two outings.

But what remains a matter of concern for Deccan is their batsmen's habit of giving away their wickets unnecessarily, which had been the case against Delhi on Wednesday too.

Deccan's bowling department is being led by rejuvenated RP Singh, who is a strong contender for the purple cap, and is among the highest wicket-taker, while Chaminda Vaas proved that he still has some aces up his sleeves in his two outings.

Pragyan Ojha has been a revelation in the spin department, while Rohit's part-time off-spin has been more than handy.

On the other hand, with nine defeats to its credit the Knight Riders have nothing to lose and will be playing for pride in their last three matches, expecting to notch up a few upsets to further spice up the semi-final race.

The Kolkata outfit can take heart from the fact that their batting at last had clicked in the tournament with skipper Brendon McCullum returning to form with a unbeaten 84 off 64 balls to take his side to their highest score of 173 against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.

To add to that Australian David Hussey's return to the squad has added more stability to the middle-order.

However, Kolkata's bowling looks a bit suspect with Ross Taylor hammering Ishant Sharma and Co to all parts of the ground to see Bangalore through with a blistering 33-ball 81.

Kolkata would also be hoping for some luck, which it seems it had left behind while heading for the rainbow nation, as it attempts to avoid the dubious record of registering the most number of defeats in the event, being held by their next opponent Deccan Chargers (12).