Kochi Tuskers come as favorite in the match against Deccan Chargers. The Chargers have failed to show team-bond on field and appers disintegrated. Everyone is defeating them and Kochi Tuskers may also share the glory, unless Steyn and Co suddenly wake up to give their best and Kochi may wind up with another low score.
There is no history between them. Kochi is fresher, while Deccan is 2009 winner and 2010 semifinalist, and now set to compete with their 2008 performance, when they finished at the bottom.
When Kochi played their first match, they went on to score the highest score of the tournament, scoring 161/5. But Bangalore batsmen chased it. Even Pune Warriors defeated them in the same fashion. But, against Mumbai Indians they realised their batting strength and decided to chase, and earned their first victory. Against Chennai Super Kings also they earned easy victory chasing a high score. Against Knight Riders, Kochi bowlers earned a remarkable victory defending low target. Kochi batsmen failed miserably in the absence of Brendum McCullum and Rajasthan Royals thumped them.
Chargers were thrashed by their erstwhile opponent Rajasthan Royals in the first match. Kolkata Knight Riders also defeated them in a close contest. But, playing at home they registered first ever victory trouncing Royal Challengers Bangalore. But, Kings XI Punjab shattered the dream of getting away with home jinx for Chargers when ex-DC captain and biggest assaulter of the tournament Valthaty marooned DC with runs. In their last match, they defeated Daredevils easily. Expected to spoil Sachin’s birthday, Deccan Chargers succumbed to a shameful defeat against Mumbai Indians in their last match.
Kochi’s player’s performance index shows McCullum, Jadeja, Hodge and captain Mahela in tremendous forum. Even Hodge has joined the 100-club now, and Parthiv Patel is just 3-run short of reaching triple figure. But their bowlers have failed taking only 21 wickets in 6 matches.
For Deccan, player’s performance index is better. Chipli, Sangakkara, Sohal, Dhawan and Chrisitan have reached 100-run mark. Still together they have failed to succeed. Bowlers have performed better taking 28 wickets in 6 matches.
Who Will Win Today!!
Kochi needs a victory to rise up the ranks, while DC needs victory to restart their campaign and get some belief in their ability to win. Yet, Kochi’s strong batting line-up can be too good for DC to show any strength. Another thumping on cards for DC, unless Sanga, Steyn and Ishant create some magic in the company of Amit Mishra.
Sangakkara vs Muralitharan/Mahela
The contest between two of the long-time teammates would be a treat to watch. Considering the expectations lying on the shoulders of captain Sanga, a good inning is assured. But for that he would have to cross Murali’s doosra and other ammunitions. The contest would be key factor to decide the edge. In Mahela’s company Muralitharan has thrived throughout his international career, and the duo can just place another nail on DC’s coffin. Can Sanga save the inevitable!!
McCullum/Mahela/Jadeja vs Steyn/Ishant
Steyn is still dangerous, Ishant appears a lot improved. But Brendum McCullum, Mahela and Jadeja are in good form. They have knocked almost everyone out of the park. Yet, hard-reality for DC is the fact that only Steyn and Ishant can get them a victory now, if they can together take out the hard-hitting and successful trio of Kochi.
Kochi Tuskers Kerala Squad
Batsman: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Michael Klinger, Brendon McCullum (WK), Owais Shah, VVS Laxman, Kedar Jadhav, Chandan Madan, Parthiv Patel (WK), Yashpal Singh
Allrounder: John Hastings, Brad Hodge, Steve Oâ€™Keefe, Thisara Perera, Steven Smith, Ravindra Jadeja,
Bowlers: Muttiah Muralitharan, Sreesanth, Ramesh Powar, RP Singh, Vinay Kumar, Balachandra Akhil, Balachandra Akhil, Deepak Chougule, Gnaneswara Rao, Raiphi Gomez, Sushant Marathe, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Tanmay Srivastava
Batsman: Kumar Sangakkara (Captain/Keeper), Jean-Paul Duminy, Michael Lumb, Kevin Pietersen, Anand Rajan, Kedar Devdhar, Shikhar Dhawan, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Arjun Yadav
Allrounder: Chris Lynn, Rusty Theron, Cameron White, Ashish Reddy
Bowlers: Dale Steyn, Daniel Christian, Ankit Sharma, Akash Bhandari, Bharat Chipli, Manpreet Gony, Harmeet Singh, Ishank Jaggi, Ishan Malhotra, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Sunny Sohal