Teams target Champions League berth
Match factsDeccan v Bangalore, third-place playoff, Mumbai
Saturday, April 24
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Big PictureHere we go again. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers, face to face, one final time this year, to decide who will qualify for the Champions League. Although Bangalore mainly have themselves to blame for playing on Saturday, and not Sunday, Deccan have been an important part of their slide in the second half of the tournament.
After Deccan's choke against Rajasthan Royals in Nagpur, Adam Gilchrist said the tournament had become simpler for them. It was a straight equation: win each of the seven games to come. Quite similar to Steve Waugh's words less than halfway through the 1999 World Cup, which were immortalised by his team's ultimate success.
Eleven years ago, in a Super Six match at Headingley, South Africa had Australia down, should have eliminated them, but left the job unfinished. And then on that unforgettable day at Edgbaston, Australia knocked their benefactors out en route to going unbeaten for seven matches. This is not quite the World Cup, and Deccan's dream run didn't reach the final, but Bangalore - like South Africa - should have finished Deccan twice in the league stage. Now Deccan stand in their way of a Champions League slot. Will DY Patil Stadium be Bangalore's Edgbaston?
The resemblance is made all the more striking by the foreign cores of these teams: Bangalore (Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Ray Jennings) are predominantly South African, and Deccan (Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Ryan Harris, Darren Lehman) Australian.
Form guide (most recent first)Bangalore Royal Challengers LLWLW
Deccan Chargers LWWWW
Team talkThe teams may have lost their semi-finals, but this is a match just as serious, and they should play their best XIs. The best XI for Deccan should be easier to choose: they have won five of their last six matches. Bangalore, though, have questions. The way they have played around with Manish Pandey's place in the team, and with that his confidence and his form, has been one of their tactical blunders. Will they play him, and if they do, will they open with him?
PreviouslyDeccan 4, Bangalore 2
Deccan are becoming a bogey opposition for Bangalore: Last year's final, followed by two matches this year that Bangalore should have won. But Deccan hung on, much like they did for the majority of the tournament. In the first game, Suman played a responsible hand; in the second, Bangalore choked while chasing a small total.
In the spotlightIt all began going downhill for Jacques Kallis after Bangalore's defeat against Deccan in Nagpur. His 37-ball 27, captain Kumble said, put pressure on the rest of the line-up. Since then Kallis' scores have read 0, 14 and 11. He is threatening to end the tournament on a low after perhaps being the best player in its first half. Saturday's match is one last shot at redemption.
While many point to Adam Gilchrist as the inspiration behind Deccan's success, Gilchrist the batsman has been their biggest failure, wasting an overseas player's slot for an average of 19 runs per innings. His hitting has promised a lot, but he has rarely lasted the Powerplay overs. It's not certain if Gilchrist gets a chance to play, or wants to play, in the next season, so this could be his last opportunity to set a few records straight.
- Robin Uthappa is the leading six-hitter of the tournament. With 27 sixes, he is three ahead of M Vijay, his closest rival still alive in the tournament. Suresh Raina has 19, Saurabh Tiwary 18. With 64 sixes in three years, Gilchrist leads the tally overall.
- Deccan have played three matches at DY Patil this year, and have lost all three while chasing.
The chatter"We want to pick ourselves up for Saturday's match. We would love to play in the Champions League again."
Adam Gilchrist sets the agenda
"That [Champions League slot] would be a consolation for us, but the big prize is winning the IPL and we have missed out on that."
Anil Kumble knows where it is at
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo