Adam Gilchrist, the Deccan Chargers captain, has held up his hands and accepted the blame for his team under performing. The Chargers, who won the title in South Africa last season with Gilchrist scoring almost 500 runs, have struggled this year after a promising start. They have lost five games on the trot after winning three of their first four and their semi- final prospects hinge on winning their last five games and other results going their way.
Gilchrist's modest tally of 212 runs from nine games has been a factor in Deccan's woes, something the former Australia wicketkeeper readily accepts. "I am most definitely a part of why we haven't fired," he said. "I have got some starts, but haven't gone on to get a big one, so I certainly take some responsibility for that, absolutely." That malaise has spread through the Deccan batting line-up. Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds, who announced yesterday he will play for Surrey in their domestic T20 competition this summer, and Herschelle Gibbs have all looked in good form, but have failed to last long enough at the crease or close out matches.
They cannot afford any further slip-ups. "Very quickly doing the maths, what we have got is five games - that's 10 possible points, 16 in total," said Gilchrist. "I guess it's tight enough, but that might be good enough. So we will watch with interest the other results, but we can't afford to lose again, it's as simple as that." Deccan's resolve will be put to the test against the Royal Challengers Bangalore tonight - a team they defeated to win the title last season.
Bangalore are knocking on the doors of qualification and can seal their semi-final spot during the next two games at home. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Royal Challengers Bangalore v Deccan Chargers, Cric One, 6.30pm