The Deccan Chargers won the second edition of the Indian Premier League after having finished in the final spot in the first edition. And this turnaround has been brought about by a concerted effort on the part of all the stakeholders involved with the team!
Pre-season shenanigans: Like most teams who go through a run as horrendous as the Chargers did in the previous season, heads do roll and they did as well. Robin Singh was ousted as the coach and Darren Lehmann brought in, so were some of the other support staff guys except assistant coach Kanwaljeet Singh. Same went for the skipper, VVS Laxman, who had seemed to have lost the respect of not only his team-members, but also the management. That he continued in the side was probably, only out of respect for his seniority. *Adam Bomb’! Gilchrist’s batting was one of the turning points for the Deccan Chargers, as he finished second in the top-run getting leader-board. Most of the innings that had him bat for a sufficiently long amount of time, saw his team triumph as the opposition bowlers had no effect on his cuts, pulls and drives. Adam the leader: There couldn’t have been a better example of chalk and cheese captaincy; as Gilchrist took over from Laxman and worked wonders with the team. If ever there was a picture that said it all about his captaincy, it was the one that had Gilchrist having an animated discussion with his team immediately before going out to field in the finals while defending a rather paltry total. If it was Shane Warne who had been a leader of men in the previous season, then Gilchrist took over the mantle with consummate ease this time around.Rohit Sharma, the all-rounder: A T20 game barely gives too many opportunities to have a think, let alone a re-think. So, the real close games are usually won by those teams who have the personnel to remain unaffected by the whole scenario and can take their team over the crossing line. Rohit Sharma was one such player, who not only batted with perfection at the position that he was assigned to, but bowled like a frontline bowler. A hat-trick was only incidental, but most importantly, he allowed his captain some respite with respect to the overs that would allow him to juggle around the other bowlers as well.The return of Symonds: Andrew Symonds’ inclusion in the side after he was away playing for Australia was like a huge shot in the Chargers’ arms. His batting turned many a game for the Chargers, where as the finals saw him get to an invaluable 30, and then scalp two wickets in two deliveries to turn the match on its head. And if this wasn’t enough, he prowled within the 30-yard circle on the off-side to scare the batsmen away with some amazing stops. The purple-capped RP: R.P.Singh’s bowling made a huge difference to the chances of Deccan Chargers, especially in the earlier games when Fidel Edwards was his bowling partner. Singh managed to extract that little extra from the wicket and that helped him gather all those wickets and a purple cap to boot!*Brilliant fielding’: When a team has three of the best fielders in the business; Symonds, Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Sharma in the inner ring on the off-side, there isn’t much a batsman can do except go over the top. The final is the best example of how the batting team was pushed into frustration by some fielding exhibition by the trio! Getting through the cordon looked more difficult than going through the Fort Knoxx!