Adventureland: Not another Asian Story

Match#46: Deccan Chargers v/s Delhi Daredevils

Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad

Form Guide: DC- Loss, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Loss,
                       DD- Loss, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Loss, Win, Loss, 
 
With both teams standing no chance whatsoever to reach the knockouts, even going to an extent so as to mirror eachother’s win-loss ratios so far- it is literally impossible to hype up this inconsequential game.
 
Other than mere statistics (and the perennial battle for the Wooden Spoon), there is nothing more at stake.
 
Hence, let us get straight down to cutting-down business:
 
Deccan Chargers: (Winners 2009)
 
After yet another botched chase against a superior team, Sangakkara will be wondering if it was wise of him to give up national captaincy. After all, he would be the first to leave if he was still captain- and staying in the IPL seems to be the last thing on his ‘wishlist’ right now. 
 
Shikhar Dhawan finally coming good was purely coincidental to Deccan losing their way during the chase- as he would like to believe. As was Kumara dismissing himself (yet again) for zero. As was Ishant Sharma going wicketless once again. As was Steyn…well, you get the point.
 
Having said that, even death is purely coincidental to being knocked down (read torn to pieces) by a freight train. 
 
Molehill out of Shikhar
 
With most teams having figured out the perfect score to set the Chargers and then sit back and watch them blaze away to glory only to choke themselves in the middle overs- Deccan seem to have clearly found a solution to nullify their own formidable bowling attack. That Cameron White might captain the side once Sanga leaves- cannot possibly deflate the side more than now- or maybe it can. After all, Pune and Delhi have set high standards. 
 
Hence, with yet another team biting the dust in the ratrace up the top of the ladder (sound familiar?), Sanga can freely conduct ridiculous experiments without anything to worry about.
 
Maybe now, he can fulfil his fantasy of asking Amit Mishra to ‘surprise’ opposition by bowling left-handed, and Ojha to open the batting.
 
Player to watch out for: Ishant Sharma
 
A miraculous spell is needed once again from the youngster- who is threatening to rest on his K-040000 laurels forever. Also, a tour to the Caribbean would be a great reward in the offering if he bowls consistently well from here on.
 
Or maybe a higher base price for IPL 2012. More likely. Either way, it will not be easy to intimidate Virender Sehwag and Warner. 
 
Delhi Daredevils: (Semi finals 2008, 2009)
 
Back on track after a minor blip (a win), the rest of the league will be relieved to watch the Daredevils slide back into mediocrity after briefly threatening to rise out of the bottom 3. 
 
That Sehwag did not fire- is proof enough that DD are taking their dependence on their captain to a new level of mental disability. An 80-odd by him is accompanied by the emergence of a full moon- and with that happening once in 28 days, the Daredevils will do well to look for means of alternate employment in the meanwhile.
 
In fact, looking at them on the field would suggest that they are already performing mechanical tasks that require considerably less skills at a lower pay package. 
 
‘Knockouts? Woh kya hai, bhai?’
 
With Venugopal Rao hell-bent on defying the recession sweeping across North-India single-handedly, the Daredevils mercifully find themselves above Pune in the current league standings. With news coming in that Dada has taken a liking to the Warrior franchise and their captain (or vice versa), DD might find themselves in trouble if the Warriors decide to re-live Dada’s fairytale comeback to cricket- once again. It will only be a matter of time, anyway, and inevitably- the player formerly known as Irfan Pathan (now known by a variety of North-Indian expletives) will have accomplished a record of sorts by being the ONLY player to be part of two wooden-spoon teams in consecutive years.
 
So who wants him next year? Anyone? Anyone? Mr. Mallya, how about you? 
 
DD will now face DC- a team that is evidently sailing on the same hole-ridden boat, and with their win-loss record reading similarly, it will be a close fight to death for both these spent outfits. 
 
Player to watch out for: Travis Birt
The unknown from Victoria showed unmistakable signs of being a hard-hitting middle-order batsman- but his place in the batting order revealed him more to be a bowling all-rounder who nobody has previously heard of. Well played, Viru- once again.
 
That his Bio reads ‘Occasional wicketkeeper’ could finally mean curtains for the Irfan-Pathan-inspired Naman Ojha- who seems to be a waste of a batting position in this enigmatic line-up. 
 
Birt should be promoted up the order, with the likes of Van Der Merwe to follow him. One understands that this IPL is used to promote local talent, but if the ‘talents’ themselves refuse to promote themselves- there is no point letting the team sink to unchartered depths.
 
Prediction:
 
One lives to make predictions in such important games. The fate of the league rests on the result of this game. Yes, indeed. Hence, does it really matter? In any case, Deccan need to inspire some faith into the lifeless corpses that now inhabit the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium. They were called ‘home fans’.

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