ICL: Indian Cricket League


An Australian double-bill

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Match facts

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)

The Big Picture

They have one of the strongest batting line-ups in the tournament but the Deccan Chargers are still to win a game. Sitting at the bottom of the points table, despite being one of the biggest spenders at the auction, they are running out of time to find their winning combination. Their two defeats have been big and convincing - by five wickets against the Kolkata Knight Riders and by nine wickets against the Delhi Daredevils. Rajasthan, meanwhile, were frugal at the auction but they managed to work out their plan after an initial nine-wicket loss to Delhi. They come in to this game having beaten the Kings XI Punjab by six wickets in Jaipur and will now be looking to push their way up the table.

For most viewers it will be the first time they get to see Adam Gilchrist face Shane Warne. Gilchrist’s Twenty20 average is just 22.11 from 28 games and he will be eager to improve on that. But will he be able to read Warne’s flipper?

Watch out for …

Andrew Symonds and Gilchrist - two of international cricket’s most explosive batsmen - finally catching fire after an anti-climactic start. For Australia Symonds has shown, apart from his run-scoring abilities, he can take wickets at crucial intervals with his medium-pace and offspin and it will be interesting to see if he can stop the in-form Shane Watson.

Rohit Sharma saved some face for Deccan in their previous game with a 36-ball 66. If he gets going and finds support from Symonds or Shahid Afridi, Deccan can hope to set or chase down a target with relative ease. Deccan’s young left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha could be a handy bowling change if things get out of control; he picked up 2 for 18 against Kolkata, including the wicket of Sourav Ganguly, who was beaten in flight.

Team news

Hyderabad’s aggressive opener Ravi Teja, their leading run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy last season, may replace Venugopal Rao in the Deccan side. Afridi could be promoted to No. 3 for quick runs if Deccan bat first.

Deccan Chargers (probable) Adam Gilchrist (wk), Ravi Teja, Shahid Afridi, VVS Laxman (capt), Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, Sanjay Bangar, Arjun Yadav, Chaminda Vaas, RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha.

Graeme Smith has joined the Rajasthan squad after domestic duties and he could be played over Darren Lehmann, who has 18 from two games. They have also fiddled with their opening combination in both matches but, after Mohammad Kaif scored only five against Punjab, Yusuf Pathan could return as opener alongside Kamran Akmal.

Rajasthan (probable) Yusuf Pathan, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Kaif, Shane Watson, Graeme Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, Pankaj Singh, Dinesh Salunkhe, Shane Warne (capt), Siddharth Trivedi, Munaf Patel.

Stats and trivia

Rohit averages 46 from 16 Twenty20 games, with a highest of 101 not out and a strike-rate of 147.85.

Pathan has struck 15 fours and five sixes in the 59 deliveries he has faced in Twenty20 games, which means a boundary every three balls.

Quotes

“His Telugu is good, especially for someone who has stayed all his life in Mumbai.”
Venugopal Rao on how Rohit Sharma has adjusted to Hyderabad

“Don’t say that my team is weak and please don’t write us off. This team may lack some experience but all of them are enthusiastic young cricketers and learning a lot from the senior players in the team.”
Warne is optimistic about Rajasthan’s chances in the IPL.

Source:Cricket News

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