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Battle to enter big league

A chance to participate in the lucrative Champions League next years is what makes the fight for the third place exciting as Deccan Chargers take on Royal Challengers Bangalore today.

cricket Updated: Apr 24, 2010 09:45 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

The controversies surrounding the Indian Premier League and the juicy information coming out from various players involved in the drama have virtually reduced the on field action to a side show.

The lop-sided semifinals also did not help in creating the buzz as the third edition of the cash rich tournament goes into the home stretch. Before local favourites Mumbai Indians take on Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash on Sunday, a replay of last year’s final between Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the third place play-off would decide who makes it to the lucrative Champions League T20 tournament.

But that should not be the only thing on the mind of Royal Challengers skipper Anil Kumble’s mind. The Chargers denied his team the ultimate prize in South Africa last year and even this season the Bangalore side has finished on the losing end in both the league games.

On the other hand, Chargers would love to set the record straight at a venue that served as one of their “home” grounds in this edition. The team has failed to win a single match here and with the likes of Kumble and former India captain Rahul Dravid in the opposition camp could once again fail to garner much public support.

While the Chargers took it easy after Thursday’s drubbing against the Super Kings, the Royal Challengers had to cut short their net session by an hour and coach Ray Jennings blamed the under-prepared wickets at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Recreational Centre at the Bandra Kurla Complex.

And it could be the wicket at the D Y Patil stadium that could be an important point of discussion in the team meetings and winning the toss and electing to bat could be Plan ‘A’ for both the teams.

The two semifinals at the same venue has shown that the wicket is slowing down considerably in the second half and even a score of 150 runs is defendable in those conditions.