The champions of the second edition of IPL have had a mixed bag. In the first season, they were studded with stars like Gilchrist, Symonds, Afridi, Gibbs along with the then Indian fringe players like Rohit Sharma and Pragyan Ojha. However the initial attempt was utter failure where they were placed last in the table. Gilchrist took over from Deccan’s icon player – Laxman as captian and soon guided the side to title. Three stars of their successful campaign in South Africa, 2009 were Indian players namely Rohit Sharma, Ojha and R.P.Singh.
Unfortunately all the three would be with Mumbai this season. Third season began terribly but soon they rallied to enter the Semifinals where they lost to the eventual champions Chennai. In 2010 auctions, Deccan side was reorganised with Sangakkara at helm, Pieterson, White, Steyn forming the international band. Ishanth Sharma, Mishra and Ojha were Indian stars. Again the side failed miserably ending last in the table.
Their trading and auction for 2012 is highly incorrigible. Trading Pieterson to Delhi and Ojha to Mumbai means they have lost two players of certain starting XI. Fresh faces inducted this time are Lara’s clone – Darren Bravo, Parthiv Patel and Daniel Harris. With a weak Indian contingent, they had defied the logic by selling an Indian star Ojha , who is among the Top three wicket takers in IPL. Bowling still looks competent compared to batting.
At the top, Shikar Dhawan offers solidarity and with Parthiv can form a solid opening pair. Sunny Sohal and Tanmay Srivatsava can hold up the opening slot too. Both have a track record. But none of them are ones capable of winning matches all on their own. Middle order has lot of unknown Indian names like Ravi Teja, Tanmay Srivatsava, Sunny Sohal, Ankit Yadav, Bharath Chipli. Addition of Jhunjhunwala is heartening move by the franchisee. Foreign strength must carry the team forward in batting. Sangakkara, White, Dumminy are proven champions of shorter format. Darren Bravo is likely to make an impact with his conventional batting modelled as Lara. Here the gap caused by trading Pieterson is too big to fill.
Bowling is their weapon and in Steyn and Ishanth will operate the new ball and support cast includes Manpreet Gony, Veer Pratap Singh, Sudhindhra etc. Steyn is world’s best test bowler but his effectiveness in T20s is still under question. Ishanth has similar reputation and has a tendency to bowl wayward.These two men’s form will determine the progress of Deccan in IPL. Local talents are not ones getting noticed. Theron and Christain can do a good job with the ball to support the spearheads. Theron especially is a death over specialist.
Spin is weakened by selling Ojha to Mumbai and the entire onus is on Amit Mishra to hold the end. His support cast includes a slew of domestic spinners in Quadri, Ankit Sharma, Bhandari, Akshath Reddy etc. In Christian they have a quality allrounder. White can bowl and so can Dumminy roll his arms. Indian recruits include few dual purpose players too. Sangakkara is likely to be the wicketkeeper with Parthiv as his back up.
The problems faced by Deccan are mostly with the selection of the side. While they needed a quality Indian player, they were not in race mostly during IPL 5 auction. With an already weak order, the decisions to trade Ojha and Pieterson who will be sure starters in XI are unexplainable. Deccan Chargers hence are not charged enough to be labelled as a competitor for the title. The best bet would be that they could better the last year effort. Defying logic in the side selection keeps the Deccan uncharged.
Best XI : Shikar Dhawan – Parthiv Patel – Kumar Sangakkara – Jean Paul Dumminy –Abhishek Jhunjhunwala – Bharath Chipli - Daniel Christian - Amit Mishra – Dale Steyn – Ishanth Sharma – Ishank Jaggi.