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Pressure of expectations for Casio Battery Chargers
A new look Casio Battery Chargers will have their task cut out as they look to live up to the hopes of a new season. From being consigned to the bottom of the table in the inaugural season in 2008, the Chargers defied all expectations to become champions in the second edition of the tournament which was held in South Africa in 2009. Last year too the Chargers did quite well to finish fourth.
However, with none of the top players barring Pragyan Ojha figuring in the new squad, the pressure will be on Kumar Sangakkara and his men as they try to make good on the reputation that the previous team had so very painstakingly built.
With the players back on the auction block for this season, the Chargers think-tank surprisingly failed to pursue some of their champion players. One had expected them to retain at least the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Rohit Sharma and RP Singh.
And their strategy during the auction too was baffling. They chose to bid for bowlers rather than batsmen. Even a player like T Suman, who did quite well for them in the last two seasons, opted to sign up for Mumbai Indians.
The present side seems to lack a bit of quality, especially in the batting department, when compared to the previous one. The unavailability of English batsman Kevin Pietersen too has only added to their woes.
With only four foreign players available for any match, the onus will lie on the domestic players.
The Chargers bowling attack could be considered one of the best among all the teams. It will be spearheaded by South African Dale Steyn. The 27-year-old is lethal and will be more than handful for the other teams. With Pragyan Ojha and Amit Mishra manning the spin department, the Chargers have the potential to run through a side.
Captain: Kumar Sangakkara has had a very successful World Cup as he led his side to the final. But the Lankan has an onerous task on hand as he tries to fill Gilchrist’s shoes.
Coach and support Staff: Coach Darren Lehmann heads the Casio Chargers support cast of eight. And that includes his assistants Mike Young and Kanwaljit Singh and trainer David Bailey.
Key players Dale Steyn: There is no fast bowler like Steyn right now. He can be more than a handful on his day. ameron White: The Australian is a known match-winner and played a big role in RCB’s success. This time around, he will be in the Chargers’ jersey and their campaign this season will largely depend on White’s shoulders. He is a destructive stroke-maker.
Pragyan Ojha: Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has converted the promise he showed at age-group levels to international stage. The 24-year-old has been one of the most consistent spinners in the country. He was the leading wicket-taker for the Casio Camera Chargers last season.
Squad: Kumar Sangakkara (C/WK), Cameron White (VC), Ashish Reddy, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Akash Bhandari, Bharat Chipli, Daniel Christian, Kedar Devdhar, Shikhar Dhawan, JP Duminy, Manpreet Gony, Harmeet Singh, Ishank Jaggi, Michael Lumb, Chris Lynn, Ishan Malhotra, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, DB Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Ishant Sharma, Sunny Sohal, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Arjun Yadav.
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