By Amrut Thobbi
Deccan Chargers’ win against the Pune Warriors India on Tuesday was a relief for the Hyderabad franchise as the team has been riding on a bumpy road in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2012. With six losses and only two wins – both against the Pune Warriors India, Deccan is having a nightmarish IPL.
Is Deccan really a minnow or its poor performance hitherto has been owing to the poor strategic planning of the administrators and team management? Let’s look at the number of players Deccan has traded in this IPL. If losing the likes of Adam Gilchrist, RP Singh, Herschelle Gibbs, Rohit Sharma was not enough, then selling the talented Kevin Pietersen to Delhi Daredevils and also Pragyan Ojha to Mumbai Indians have been shocking. Ojha was the Purple Cap holder for Deccan in 2010 while Pietersen, playing for Delhi Daredevils, is in brilliant form. Their presence would certainly have been a huge boost for the Deccan Chargers.
Deccan’s win against Pune Warriors on Tuesday was their second win overall; moreover it was the first win at home out of the four matches played at home. Basically, Deccan has two home grounds – YSR Reddy Stadium in Visakhapatnam and Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. For any team’s success in a prolonged season, having home advantage is paramount. But two different venues dilutes that advantage.
Deccan’s bowling is clearly a one-man army in the form of Dale Steyn. The South African spearhead has little or no help from the other end. Despite all his talent, Steyn cannot do much in his quota of four overs. Deccan’s batting, though better than bowling, has many chinks. Sporadic good performances by Cameron White and JP Duminy are not of much help to the team’s cause. Everyone else needs to chip in. The poor form of local players has made things worse as well.
A little over half way through the tournament, Deccan’s chances of qualifying for this year’s play-offs looks remote. Deccan needs to work on few things to end the tournament on a better note. They may not win the ongoing IPL but have the potential of destroying party of few other teams. Bowling apart, they need to reshuffle their batting order by getting Duminy bat in top order than wasting his ability at No 5. Duminy can play the sheet anchor and accelerate when the situation demands. Deccan’s fielding has been below par throughout their campaign. Top teams generally boast of exceptional fielders who save plenty runs.
On paper, Deccan Chargers don’t seem as mediocre as their on-field performance in this season of the IPL suggests. They have the potential and players to bounce back.
(Amrut Thobbi, an engineering graduate now pursuing Masters in journalism, is an ardent cricket fan. His passion for writing inspired him to give up a sales and marketing job, which he does not regret. By writing on cricket, he wants to relive his dream of becoming a cricketer. He has also worked as a freelance writer in education and technology sectors)