Deccan Chargers line-up looks awesome on paper

April 12th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh
(Team Profile)

Hyderabad, April 12 (IANS) Boasting of big names in cricket, Deccan Chargers will be the team to watch out for in the Indian Premier League. Team members Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist and Shahid Afridi are awesome hitters and can maul any bowling attack. Owned by the fast growing media group Deccan Chronicle, the Hyderabad-based media house spent a whopping $107 million for the team franchise, the second highest amount paid after business tycoon Mukesh Ambani for Mumbai Indians.

The Chargers were among the most aggressive bidders during the first players’ auction and spent $5.8 million to buy some top guns.

The franchise added a lot of explosive power in batting by buying New Zealander Scott Styris and South African Herschelle Gibbs, besides Symonds, Gilchrist and Pakistani Afridi.

In addition to these players, the franchise also includes the Indian Test player Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman, who will lead the team.

In fact, it was only Laxman’s generosity that helped Chargers spend a huge amount in buying some top players. Laxman declined to be the icon player for his team, which helped the team management save and invest in big players.

At his best, Laxman is a sight for the gods. The Australians have been at the receiving end of some of his most admired performances. But this time he will be sharing the dressing room with Australians whom he had tormented over the years. The genial Hyderabadi will be the ideal leader of a great side.

The team has an intelligent coach in Robin Singh, who was a decent one-day all-rounder during his time. As a fielding coach of the current national team, Robin has done good work and there is no doubt that he will do the same with Deccan Chargers as well.

The local lads have already started practising at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium. The team’s chief executive officer J.K. Krishnan said the players were shaping up extremely well.

“New Zealander Scott Styris and Sri Lankan Nuwan Zoysa have been here from April 7. Symonds and Gilchrist should be joining practice Sunday. Afridi, Rudra Pratap and Rohit will join mid next week. Laxman will join immediately after the Kanpur Test against South Africa,” Krishnan told IANS.

He also added that all players barring Gibbs would be available for their opening match against Kolkata Knight Riders to be held in Kolkata, April 20.

Krishnan went on to add that his team is well balanced and has no apparent weakness.

“Symonds, Gilchrist, Gibbs, Afridi and Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas are match winners in their own right and are an exciting lot to watch. Chamara Silva has also been performing very well in West Indies. Laxman, Rudra Pratap and Rohit would always be terrific and reliable performers. Ravi Teja and Pragyan Ojha and Halhadar Das would be exciting youngsters who can perform well,” he said.

Strengths: Batting is the Deccan Chargers’ strength. The presence of power hitters like Gilchirst, Symonds, Afridi and Gibbs should be a worrying factor for the opposition. Then they have steady hands in captain Laxman and Mumbai’s Rohit Sharma. Sharma, who was a part of India’s Twenty20 World Cup winning squad, is blossoming into a mature batsman.

Weakness: Bowling appears to be the weak link of the team. They might have Vaas, Zoysa and R.P. Singh in their ranks but they do not inspire enough confidence. Vaas at the age of 34 is too old for the shortest form of the game while Zoysa has been out of the team for over a year. R.P., after an impressive tour of Australia, had fitness problems and has lost a bit of zip in his bowling.

Overseas players to watch out for:

Gilchirst: He might have hung his boots, but he will still be the star attraction with his swashbuckling batting and unrelenting wicket-keeping.

Andrew Symonds: He is one who can change the course of the match single-handedly with his batting, bowling or fielding. After his spat with Harbhajan Singh in Australia he became the most sought after property and is also the second costliest player in this league. He has already been very successful in the shortest version of the game and will be one of the main attractions in the league.

Shahid Afridi: He has been the poster boy of Pakistan cricket with a big female fan following. He made his international debut as a 16-year-old leg spinner but took the world by storm by hitting the fastest hundred in his maiden one-day innings and he still holds the record. An allrounder like him is any captain’s dream.

Indian players to watch out for:

Rohit Sharma: Twenty20 requires a batsman to adapt well and be consistent and he has all the requisite qualities. His performance in the Twenty20 World Cup last year got him into the Deccan Chargers’ short-list.

R.P. Singh: The left-arm seamer from the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has come up the rungs with impressive performances. He was the bowling mainstay of India at the Twenty20 World Cup, emerging as the second highest wicket taker with 12 wickets from seven matches.

Venugopal Rao: This stylish batsman from the southern state Andhra Pradesh was a favourite of former India coach Greg Chappell and was counted among those who can take charge of India’s batting once the big guns hang up their boots. He turned up for India in 16 One-Dayers before losing his place. IPL can be a platform for him to come back to the limelight.

Team Logo: A raging bull


Captain: V.V.S. Laxman

Indian players: Rohit Sharma ($750,000), Rudra Pratap Singh ($875,000), Sanjay Bangar, Y. Venugopal Rao, N. Arjun Yadav, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Pragyan Ojha, D. Kalyankrishna, P. Vijay Kumar, Halandhar Das, Sarvesh Kumar.

Overseas players: Adam Gilchrist (Australia, $700,000), Andrew Symonds (Australia, $1.35 million), Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa, $575,000), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan, $675,000), Scott Styris (New Zealand, $175,000), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka, $200,000) Chamara Silva (Sri Lanka, $100,000), Nuwan Zoysa (Sri Lanka, $110,000)

Coach: Robin Singh

Assistant coach: Kawaljit Singh

Cricket managers: Shishir Hattangadi and Vijay Mohan Raj.

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