Deccan Chargers, who won the second edition in South Africa in 2009, go into the fifth edition as one of the less-fancied teams. Their batting does not look threatening at all and their bowling is only relatively better. The Indian Premier League is all about batting and that's where they look short on resources. Still, in this format it would be foolish to rule any team out.
Name: Deccan Chargers
Captain: Kumar Sangakkara
Coach: Darren Lehmann
Owner: Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited
Cost of the team: $107 million
Key players: The team's captain Kumar Sangakkara is one of the most enterprising batsmen in the world, and if Deccan are to do well, he has to be at his supreme best. The talented West Indian Darren Bravo has come of age in the last one year or so and that's going to stand him in good stead. JP Duminy is another batsman who holds the key for Deccan. The left-handed South African can build the innings and cut loose with the same proficiency and is a handy bowler too.
Dale Steyn is the leader of their bowling pack and very few doubt he is the best bowler in the world. He has got everything in his repertoire; he swings it both ways and can consistently bowl at 150 kmph. If Steyn bowls the way he can, Deccan should fancy themselves, for sure.
Strengths: Their bowling looks their strength as of now. Simply because it has Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Daniel Christian. It may not look to be the greatest of bowling units, but it is capable of keeping batsmen in check.
Weaknesses: Their batting is clearly the weakness. They have got some good batsmen but they don't hold a candle to batsmen other teams possess. However, if Deccan keep batting well with whatever resources they have got, their bowling can work miracles for them.
2011 performances: They finished seventh last year and that says it all. They lost the opening two matches against Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, then raised some hopes by stunning Royal Challengers Bangalore but were again off the boil against Kings XI Punjab. Against a weak Delhi Daredevils they won, then lost to Mumbai Indians following it up with a win against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, another weak team.
Then came the patch that ended their season: four consecutive losses against Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata, Delhi and Pune Warriors India. In their last three matches, though they beat Mumbai, Pune and Punjab, it was too late for Deccan.
2012 prospects: Their prospects don't look great, and much depends on their domestic talent. Mishra, Shikhar Dhawan, Tanmay Srivastava, Manpreet Gony, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Bharat Chipli will have to play out of their skin to give them any real hopes.