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'No pressure at all' - Lehmann

Posted by James On 10:43 AM 0 comments

Deccan Chargers coach Darren Lehmann has said there is no pressure on him or the team to repeat last year's success. Deccan made a remarkable turnaround under Lehmann, emerging victors in 2009 after having finished bottom of the table in the inaugural season when Robin Singh was coach.

"There is no pressure at all," Lehmann said. "Obviously, they need to go out and enjoy themselves, that is more important for me. I like players playing an entertaining brand of cricket. We are going to have our ups and downs. That's what happens in cricket. But we have to fight another day and see how it goes."

Deccan will not be playing their home games in Hyderabad, the venue where they have failed to win any match during the IPL's first season and the inaugural Champions League Twenty20. The city will not be hosting any matches this season in a move perceived to be a response to the sporadic violence that has hit the region due to a separatist movement in the state. According to the revised schedule, Deccan would be playing their home games across three venues in Mumbai, Nagpur and Cuttack.

"We would have loved to play at home, but we are not," Lehmann said. "We can't control that. We would have liked to see fans from Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh come and watch us play. We hope some of them will travel and follow the team."

Lehmann said Herschelle Gibbs would figure in Deccan's top order and that he was expecting big things from Andrew Symonds, another international recruit, as well. "Gibbs looked good today [during the practice game]," Lehmann said. "He is a class player, so we are very happy to have him back. He came down the batting order for South Africa in the recent one-day series [in India], but he will play at the top of the order for us.

"Andrew Symonds is very popular with the public. He is a very good player. He is a leader and has been part of the team strategy."

Lehmann said player workloads would also be managed over the next month-and-a-half. "It's been a long season for the Indians," Lehmann said. "They have played a lot and we need to freshen them up. Traditionally, the Indian players like to hit more but we have to make sure they are fresh to give 110% when the games come along."

Deccan begin their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders in the tournament opener on March 12 at the DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai. Though, Kolkata were the whipping boys last time around and finished last, Lehmann said his team would not take them lightly.

"In Twenty20, you need to play consistent cricket," Lehmann said. "They [Kolkata] certainly have the players and we'll be wary of them."

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