Cuttack: Apr 21, 2012
The bottom-placed Deccan Chargers will continue their quest for an elusive victory when they take on an inconsistent Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match here tomorrow.
The Chargers, yet to open their account, would draw inspiration from the fact that they had won both their matches in 2010 here at the Barabati Stadium when the venue played host to two out of seven of their home games.
But having lost all four of their matches so far this season, they will have to get their act together against a side high on confidence after defeating Kings XI Punjab comprehensively in their last match.
Although the Knight Riders have only 50 per cent win ratio till now -- three victories from six matches so far -- the Kolkata outfit certainly starts as favourite tomorrow.
Given the unpredictability factor associated with this format of the game, it would be a folly to rule out any team, but, in the current scenario, the Chargers are in a real spot of bother and it would certainly take a great effort from them to get the better of the Knight Riders.
The only way they can hope to pull it off tomorrow, is by playing out of their skins, and hoping that the luck sides with them.
It would be important for the openers -- skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Shikhar Dhawan -- to lay a solid platform for a competitive total.
The in-form Dhawan and one-down batsman Parthiv Patel did well in the previous match, scoring quickfire 44 and 45, respectively, and the Chargers would once again hope that the top-order sticks to its job.
Jean-Paul Duminy, who failed in the last game but played a whirlwind knock against Rajasthan Royals, would also look to get back among runs.
However, the Chargers' continuous bowling failure has been a major cause of worry for them and they would be desperate to rectify the problems when they take the field tomorrow at their lucky venue.
Despite South African pacer Dale Steyn's good show, his spells are yet to result in the team's victory as none of the bowlers at the other end could compliment him.
The Chargers can only hope that their bowling department consisting of legspinner Amit Mishra, Aussie allrounder Dan Christian, slow left-armer Ankit Sharma, besides Steyn, will fire in unison.
For the Knight Riders, too much pressure has been put on the top order, including captain Gautam Gambhir and experienced South African campaigner Jacques Kallis and it's time for others to step up and be counted.
And there could be no better opponents than the Chargers for the likes of Brendon McCullum, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla and Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate to come back to form.
Kolkata would depend heavily on veteran Australian Brett Lee and West Indies' Sunil Narine, who has impressed with his performance so far, as far as bowling is concerned.
Laxmipathy Balaji and Rajat Bhatia have also been impressive so far but Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis would be looking to bring his bowling campaign back on track tomorrow.
While it would be interesting to watch if the Chargers are able to break the jinx, the Knight Riders are not expected to spare an inch. (PTI)
DC (Probables): Bharat Chipli, Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel, Daniel Christian, Kumar Sangakkara (c & wk), Jean-Paul Duminy, Abhishek Jhunjunwala, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra, Dale Steyn, Veer Pratap Singh.
KKR (Probables): Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Gautam Gambhir (c), Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Debabrata Das, Rajat Bhatia, Sunil Narine, Jaidev Unakdat, Brett Lee.
Time: 20:00 local (14:30 GMT)