Neither Deccan Charger nor the Pune Warriors India have the slightest hope of progressing to the playoffs in the Indian Premier League’s fourth edition.
However, that will not make their face-off in the fag end of the league stage a dull affair at the Dr DY Patil Sports Stadium here on Monday.
For starters, both the captains, Yuvraj Singh and Kumar Sangakkara, would be up against each other’s former IPL skipper. Yuvraj led Kings XI Punjab for the first two editions and Sangakkara took charge for the last season.
Considering that the Punjab owners’ relationship with Yuvraj ended on a sour note, don’t be surprised if its implications are seen on the field.
While both the captains would be desperate to help their team move into the middle rung of the points table, for Sangakkara, a victory would mean a lot more.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who gave up the Sri Lankan captaincy after the World Cup, will feature in his last IPL tie this season. The southpaw would be keen to finish his otherwise lacklustre run on a high before joining his Lankan teammates in England.
With the Chargers’ owners opting to refurbish their team and Sri Lanka making it to the World Cup final, Sangakkara hardly had any time to spend enough time with his new teammates. And it has reflected in the team's performance.
Even though their campaign is two matches shy of getting over, the Chargers are yet to find their best combination.
To add to the team’s woes, Sangakkara and his Lankan colleagues were caught in a club versus country row when
Cricket Sri Lanka summoned them to leave the IPL mid-way for joining their team’s preparatory camp ahead of the England tour.
Sangakkara reiterated the need for an IPL window on Sunday.
“I think the ICC will look seriously for an IPL window. It’s an important tournament and it has become part of the cricketing calendar. It can hold its own with any other tournament. I think an IPL window would be good.
“Once the window is created, it won’t put players into a position where they have to choose between the IPL team, for which they have signed, and also demonstrate commitment for their country,” he said.