Kings XI Punjab skipper Kumar Sangakkara and star player Yuvraj Singh today dismissed reports of a rift between them and said too much should not be read into the side's rough patch in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Stories are doing the rounds that Yuvraj, going through a prolonged bad patch in the Twenty20 tournament, is sulking after losing captaincy to Sangakkara, who doesn't enjoy the full support of some players.
Sangakkara, who is back at the helm after serving a one-match ban for the team's repeated slow over-rate, however, begged to differ and said all negative stories stem from the outfit's poor performance in IPL III.
"These stories come out when the team is losing and not doing well. There is no rift," Sangakkara said.
"Of course there is a lot of disappointment when the team is not winning and the key players are not putting up their best performance. But there is no anger, never any direct criticism of any particular player or any personnel," said Sangakkara ahead of tomorrow's match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Dismissing reports that he and Yuvraj were not on best of terms and that it was affecting the team morale, the Sri Lankan said, "Today you saw the warm up game we had. All the local, domestic, Indian and international players got on so well together. I believe that's the way cricket is. When you lose everyone opens themselves up to criticism, some fair and some unfair."
Yuvraj, meanwhile, sounded annoyed with the reports of a 'rift' between him and Sangakkara.
"If anybody is out of form, it does not mean you (media) can write anything," an angry-looking Yuvraj told a group of journalists as he kept walking towards his car after practice.
"You cannot just go on and write one is against the other without any basis. Whatever is being written and said is not correct. There is no rift," said Yuvraj.
Sangakkara threw his weight behind out of form Yuvraj and said such bad patch was common for a cricketer.
"If you take any player, good or bad, some days they perform, some days they don't. Unfortunately, Yuvraj's preparation had been hampered by injury. In this competition, it's like a pressure cooker atmosphere. There is no let off, no time for rest and you have one game coming after the other," explained Sangakkara.
"Yuvraj is one of the best T20 batsmen in the world. Over the years, he has proved it with his performance. He is one player who is expected to perform every single game," said the Lankan.