Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers both eager for win (Preview)

May 10th, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Shoaib Akhtar

Hyderabad, May 10 (IANS) Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Deccan Chargers are sailing in the same boat and can’t afford to lose any more matches as they face each other in an important Indian Premier League (IPL) match here Sunday. Knight Riders have won only three of the seven matches they have played in the league and after a much needed five-run win over Bangalore Royal Challengers in the last game have moved up to the fifth spot in the points table. They couldn’t have found better opponents than the struggling Deccan Chargers to consolidate their position.

Deccan Chargers after their eight matches have managed just two victories and are at seventh spot in the eight-team league.

When the two teams meet at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at the Uppal here Sunday they would have to prove a point or two.

Knight Riders will try to maintain their no-loss record against the Chargers after being victorious at home. The hosts would like to prove the worth of their renowned batting order, which boasts of names likes Adam Gilchirst, Shahid Afridi and Scott Styris.

The Kolkata-team led by Sourav Ganguly started the league with a bang but lost way after winning its first two matches. They showed signs of a comeback after winning their last match against Bangalore Royal Challengers.

When they take on Deccan Chargers, Knight Riders will try to keep up the winning momentum and if they want to qualify for the semis they can’t afford to lose any more.

Ganguly will have to have some trick up his sleeve and will have to lead his team with an all-round performance as he did in the last encounter. It is still unclear whether he will get the services of temperamental fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who is yet to be declared match fit.

But Akhtar has proved to be a lucky charm for the team as his presence boosted the Knight Riders to come back to winning ways.

In any case, Knight Riders will go for a reshuffle in the batting order due to the departure of Aussie Brad Hodge. He has been named a ’shadow player’ for vice-captain Michael Clarke, who is uncertain about joining the Australian team in the West Indies.

In the absence of Hodge, Debobrata Das could be drafted in the side and promoted up the order to open the innings with veteran Akash Chopra. A good start at the top and good innings from Ganguly and David Hussey could pose problems for the Deccan Chargers.

For Deccan Chargers, Adam Gilchirst may continue leading the side in the absence of injured V.V.S. Laxman. Gilchrist has been impressive with the bat and also as skipper in the two matches he had led and Laxman’s absence might be a boon for the hosts as the local boy has been a disaster in the league.


Deccan Chargers: V.V.S. Laxman (captain) Sanjay Bangar, Halhadar Das, Herschelle Gibbs, Adam Gilchrist (wicketkeeper), Doddapaneni Kalyankrishna, Pragyan Ojha, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, P.M. Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, Chamara Silva, Rudra Pratap Singh, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Chaminda Vaas, Venugopal Rao, Paidikalva Vijaykumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa

Kolkata Kinght Riders: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Brad Hodge, Cheteshwar Pujara, David Hussey, Debabrata Das, Iqbal Abdulla, Ishant Sharma, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Mohammad Hafeez, Murali Kartik, Wriddhuiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Rohan Banerjee, Salman Butt, Saurasish Lahiri, Siddarth Kaul, Shoaib Akhtar, Tatenda Taibu (wicketkeeper), Umar Gul, Yashpal Singh

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