Deccan Chargers have been one of the least controversial teams in the IPL. Unlike other franchises, they have been relatively free of court cases, litigations, suspensions, disputes, off-field dramas. They've had their share of success, winning the 2009 IPL after a shoddy opening season. They reached the semi-finals in 2010 with the same set-up.
However, they fell apart again last year when the teams were reshuffled. They finished seventh, failing to qualify for the knockouts. The side lacked the dynamism of Adam Gilchrist, who scripted the remarkable turnaround in 2009. With him went other star performers in Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, Herschelle Gibbs and RP Singh. The new-look squad was captained by Kumar Sangakkara, and assisted by the Australian Cameron White, who had a poor season. Deccan ended the first-half of their campaign last year with three wins and four losses. They ended the tournament with three consecutive wins but it wasn't enough to progress. Still, six wins and eight defeats highlighted an ordinary season for the former champions.
They begin this edition as one of the weaker teams, on balance. Much would depend on the foreign players and Sangakkara will have to lead the way. There were no million-dollar buys in the auction, with their costliest signing being Parthiv Patel for US$650,000. They did, however, stretch Chennai Super Kings in the bid for Ravindra Jadeja. Deccan were edged out in the secret tie-breaker (locked at $2million). Their coach, Darren Lehmann, says batting will be their strength this year. He says that that the number of fresh faces in the squad could work to their advantage because the opposition wouldn't know what to expect. Looking back at 2011, he wants the team to start well this time