Deccan Chargers have points to prove

Deccan Chargers take on a resurgent Rajasthan Royals today in their third IPL match at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium in Hyderabad.

updated: April 24, 2008 13:16 IST
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A beleaguered Deccan Chargers would look for a much-needed victory when they take on a resurgent Rajasthan Royals in their third Indian Premier League encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium here on Thursday.

The Chargers had received a drubbing at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders in their first match on April 20, which captain VVS Laxman blamed on poor pitch and a power snag at the Eden Gardens.

"It was not a good pitch for any form of the game. It was a shocking wicket. In the Twenty20 format you expect high scores," Laxman had said after the match.

However, it was the batsmen, which let the team down in their second match against Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday with big guns like Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Shahid Afridi and Laxman himself coming cropper.

Local hero Laxman will come under increased pressure to deliver as he has failed to show his mettle in the shortest format of the game as the fans in his hometown expect a big score from him.

Other stars in the team like Gilchrist, Symonds and Afridi are also likely to come under scrutiny over their performance.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals, which had lost their first match against Delhi Daredevils on April 19, are on a high after their impressive win against Kings XI Punjab in their second match.

With spin legend Shane Warne weaving his magic and Australian all-rounder Shane Watson and young Ravindra Jadeja coming up with brilliant performances with the bat, the Jaipur team has the psychological advantage in Thursday's match.

Watson scored a brisk 76 including five sixes in 49 balls in the match against the Punjab team.

However, former Team India member Mohammad Kaif's form is a bit a worry for captain and coach Shane Warne. Kaif fell cheaply in the last two matches scoring nine and five and he will have to fire to lighten the pressure on Watson and other youngsters.

Warne has said after their nine-wicket loss to Delhi Daredevils he would want Kaif and Munaf Patel, two senior members from the domestic circuit, to play a big role in the team's fortunes in the Twenty20 competition.

Kaif has not done that so far and Munaf will also have to work harder to rediscover his rhythm though he got a wicket in their second match against Kings XI Punjab, conceding 35 runs from three overs.