By the time Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals headed for practice on Thursday evening, dark clouds had gathered over the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal. Apart from posing a rain threat to the game, the clouds were symbolic of the tatters that the Royals had been reduced to in a matter of less than 24 hours.
The arrests of S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila on Wednesday night for spot fixing marred what was appearing like an impressive season for the 2008 Indian T20 League winners.The state of doom was further highlighted when the Royals requested the media to stay away from their practice session - maybe, they needed their space.
But in Rahul Dravid as skipper, the Royals have the perfect ingredient to prevent the side from falling apart. During his international tenure, Dravid has helped India stay afloat in precarious situations on countless occasions.
He has the same task on hand here, albeit with a difference.
And in Paddy Upton as head coach, they have someone who can help keep the spirits of the team high. After all, Upton has been a mental conditioning coach with the national team.
With the playoffs looming, the duo of Dravid and Upton will have to help the team forget what has happened in super-quick time.
Apart from which, they will have to ensure the team stays united in this moment of adversity.
And Dravid is well aware. "I hope that our fans get behind us even more, and that we become stronger as a unit - which often happens in times of adversity."