Deccan Chargers would seek to break the sequence of defeats at home and revive their campaign in the fourth season of the Indian Premier League, when they hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore here on Thursday.
Under Kumar Sangakkara’s captaincy, Chargers lost both their matches comprehensively, to Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, in the current season.
Their record at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, the team’s home ground, is the worst among all IPL teams.
Despite playing here on eight occasions over the past three seasons, the team is yet to register a single victory.
Chargers had lost all their seven matches played here in the inaugural season in 2008.
Under Adam Gilchrist’s leadership, they roared back to lift the title in the second edition, which was moved to South Africa due to general elections in the country.
Last year the team’s base was shifted to Cuttack due to the Telangana unrest.
Compounding their woes, the team has already suffered a few hiccups in the ongoing edition.
Rajasthan Royals comprehensively beat them in their opening fixture last Saturday and, two days later, the Chargers were laid low by Kolkata Knight Riders.
And on Thursday, they will be up against a team that boasts of quite a few world-class players.
With the likes of AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Virat Kohli and Saurabh Tiwary, all known for their explosive batting, Chargers bowlers will have to be on their toes.
The home side would be hoping that South African speed merchant Dale Steyn and India seamer Ishant Sharma deliver the goods for them in the crucial encounter.
The team is also banking on local boy Pragyan Ojha to do the job for them.
The left-arm spinner had stamped his mark after he emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the last edition.
However, both Ojha and Sharma had gone wicket-less in the first two matches of this edition.
On the batting front, Chargers rely heavily on South African all-rounder Jean-Paul Duminy and Sangakkara, with opener Shikhar Dhawan, Daniel Christian and local boy Ravi Teja completing the top-order.
Both Christian and Teja made useful contributions batting down the order in the previous games.
However, it will be interesting to see how the Chargers batting deal with the likes of skipper Daniel Vettori, Zaheer Khan and Dirk Nannes, RCB’s mainstays in bowling.
The Bangalore outfit, after kicking off the campaign with a win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala last Saturday, was thrashed by Mumbai Indians in Bangalore on Tuesday.
Challengers finished runners-up in the second season after suffering a six-run loss to the Chargers in the final.
The revenge was extracted when the Bangalore team went on to beat the Chargers to secure the third-place in the last edition.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Dirk Nannes, Abhimanyu Mithun, Cheteswar Pujara, CM Gautam, Asad Pathan, Johan van der Wath, Charl Langeveldt, Joanthan Vandiar, Abrar Kazi.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishank Jaggi, Bharat Chipli, Jean-Paul Duminy, Daniel Christian, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Cameron White, Manpreet Gony, Harmeet Singh, Michael Lumb.