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Warne considers changes to his side

HITTING BACK: Deccan Chargers’ Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist slugging it out at a training session on the eve of the match against Rajasthan Royals.

HITTING BACK: Deccan Chargers’ Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist slugging it out at a training session on the eve of the match against Rajasthan Royals.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Sandeep Saxena

G. Viswanath

May accommodate Mascarenhas for the game against Deccan Chargers

Jaipur: On Friday, the DLF-IPL may just see the participation of its first ever player from England. Handpicked by Rajasthan Royals at the instance of its captain and coach Shane Warne at the second auction, Hampshire’s Dimitri Mascarenhas has so far been a mere spectator of the success of the team. Warne has kept him occupied in the nets with bat and ball and in brain storming sessions since the 30-year-old all-rounder arrived here ten days ago.

Mascarenhas has built a reputation around explosive batting and handy efforts with the ball. Two years ago, Warne had expressed surprise at the fact that England had never, until then, given him a chance in the one-day side — his captain at Hampshire considers him the best ‘finisher’ with the bat in England regards his bowling pretty useful too. Last summer, Mascarenhas had clobbered Yuvraj Singh for five sixes in an over, emphasising his ability with the bat.

Exploring possibilities

Warne may somehow find a place for his Hampshire team-mate against Deccan Chargers on Friday. Faced with the limit of four overseas players in an IPL side, Warne has the option of sacrificing Graeme Smith, Shane Watson or Sohail Tanvir, all key players. It is hard to imagine Warne sitting the match out himself, especially after being beaten hollow by Mumbai Indians on Wednesday at the D.Y. Patil Stadium.

He may also consider changing the man behind the stumps; Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal would be an option in this area. With the Royals scheduled to play three matches in less than a week’s time, Warne would perhaps consider employing key players in a staggered manner. Royals returned home empty-handed from Mumbai on Friday afternoon, unlike in the previous visits to Hyderabad and Bangalore where it had picked up four valuable points, and thereafter outsmarted three opponents at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium at home.

Royals is sitting pretty with ten points, but given the fluctuating fortunes of the teams in competition, it has to clinch two more matches at least, and quickly too, to ensure progress to the semifinals.

After the Royals beat Chennai Super Kings last week here, thanks to Sohail’s superb performance with the ball, Warne said the week starting Friday would be big in terms of the points it can garner.

Flattened by Mumbai Indians, Warne will have to come up with fresh ideas in order to get the better of a rival, which had scored a morale-boosting victory over Chennai Super Kings.

Warne will be also up against fellow Australian Adam Gilchrist who has been instrumental in Chargers’ two wins against the Mumbai and Chennai teams.

Will Laxman play?

Owing to a hand injury, V.V.S. Laxman had handed over charge to Gilchrist at Chennai, and the Hyderabadi has delayed taking a call on his participation. “I will have a hit today and before the start of the match tomorrow.”

“There is plenty of scope in the competition to throw surprising results. Rajasthan Royals is a good team and it will come hard at us tomorrow after the defeat against Mumbai Indians. Each and every player in the team should take responsibility in order to achieve a positive result,” said Laxman.

Asked to comment on reactions from the owners of the teams, Laxman said: “It’s good they are following the performance of teams on a daily basis. Deccan Chronicle has been very good; it has been (supportive of) the team.”

Deccan Chargers was lucky to have sufficient time for a light work out and a net session at the RCA’s Future Cricket Academy. It was overcast throughout the day.

The shower in the evening before the team arrived at the venue was not heavy enough to disappoint Laxman’s team.

The teams (from): Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne (captain), Graeme Smith, Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Mohd. Kaif, Niraj Patel, Mahesh Rawat, Munaf Patel, Pankaj Singh, Dinesh Salunkhe, Siddharth Trivedi, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Taruvar Kolhi, Kamran Akmal.

Deccan Chargers: V.V.S. Laxman, Adam Gilchrist, Herschelle Gibbs, Scott Styris, Rohit Sharma, Shahid Afridi, Sanjay Bangar, Rudra Pratap Singh, Arjun Yadav, D. Kalyankrishna, Pragyan Ojha, Chamara Silva, Nuwan Zoysa, D. Ravi Teja, S. Kumar, Venugopala Rado, P. Vijaykumar.

Match starts at 8 p.m.

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