We can challenge any side: Sangakkara

DC skipper says his teammates need to believe in themselves in order to win

By IPL Staff
Chennai 03 May 2012
The Deccan Chargers are languishing at the bottom of the IPL 2012 points table with two wins in nine games. Both their victories have come recently, against the Pune Warriors India. Having found a bit of momentum, they now face the Chennai Super Kings in an away game.

Ahead of the all-important tie, DC skipper Kumar Sangakkara addressed a media conference, in which he spoke about various issues of his team at length. He also gave an insight into his own batting form and explained various captaincy decisions he took in the last few games.

The contest against CSK

First, we have to realistically accept how good the Chennai Super Kings are with their batting, bowling and fielding. Then we have to believe that if we can play well – if we bowl and bat according to our plans and strategies, and more importantly, be a 100 percent on the field – we can challenge any side. T20 is such format, where if you play slightly better than the opposition on that day, when the match hangs in a balance, it’s the side that holds its nerve [that] walks away with the win.

Cold performance by Indian players

Yes, it is very important the Indian players should take most of the pressure. In a side where you don’t quite have big India internationals, the overseas players should carry the team’s baton and the younger Indians play with freedom and enjoy game. They need to find their own place in the team and increase their self-belief. For that, we have to believe in them. In our side, we have some very good Indian players.

Lack of support for Dale Steyn

Unfortunately, we’re lacking Ishant Sharma who would’ve been a perfect partner for Steyn, Rusty Theron or whichever international player is playing on that day. But we knew that before the season started and we need to be realistic. Instead of talking about what we don’t have, we must believe in the players that we do have.

The decision to drop himself

I had a look at the wicket and it didn’t look [like] how it turned out eventually. Looking at it, we had to play an extra seamer. We couldn’t have dropped Cameron White as he had got a 70 in the last game. JP Duminy has been playing magnificently and Steyn has been superb. That left us with only one choice, and that was me sitting out. In the end, it was disappointing to lose because we were playing eight batsmen, three frontline seamers and a support seamer in Ashish Reddy.

Not enough time for JP Duminy to bat

That’s something that we’ve talked about and we’re trying to work out a situation where JP gets more time in the middle. Unfortunately, he got injured. Hopefully, he’ll be available for tomorrow’s game or for the one after that.

Personal batting form

After the last game [against PWI, when he scored 86] I can say I’m happy with my form. Before that, I was trying to do a bit too much and getting out. For me, the best way to bat is play straight and manoeuvre the ball such as the bowlers bowl bad balls to me. The longer I stay at the wicket, the more and the faster I score. I had lost that particular truism in my batting.

Target for the Deccan Chargers

Realistically, we still do have a chance to get into the top four if we win almost every game. This IPL is very open and anything is still possible. The best thing about this team is that even though we’ve lost too many games, you won’t see guys bowing their heads and accepting defeats. We’ve always gone down fighting. The way we fought against Mumbai Indians defending 100 runs was unbelievable. As long as we keep up that fighting spirit, we can do well.

Resting Steyn in a game

We rested him against PWI in Pune. In Juan Theron, we have one of the best T20 bowlers around, especially in the death overs. In T20 cricket, the last couple of overs cost teams a lot of games, like they did to us, against MI, RR, etc. Steyn is the guy for us, who runs in, bowls quick, he has the swing, seam; he’s the best bowler in the world. But there are some wickets on which, may be, someone like Theron is a better bet.

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