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The Preview by Sidharth Monga
April 23, 2010
Match factsDeccan v Bangalore, third-place playoff, Mumbai
Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
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
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
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.
The chatter"We want to pick ourselves up for Saturday's match. We would love to play in the Champions League again."
"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."
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