In the City of Destiny, M. S. Dhoni might well wonder whether fate had anything to do with his team’s showing in this edition of the IPL, as the Rising Pune Supergiants takes on an equally-dispirited Kings XI Punjab in its last league engagement at the Dr. YSR ACA-VDCA stadium here on Saturday. > Amla: We want to finish on a happy note
And, as if the inconsistency in the performances of his key players and the injury woes were not enough, the rain god too seems to be merciless, as it has been pouring consistently here for the last two days with a dark cloud cover all over the city on the eve of the match.
Both teams skipped Friday’s training sessions because of showers although the met department says Saturday will be a warm day.
Who’ll finish bottom?
With nothing at stake, not even pride, the only point of academic interest in this match will be who finishes bottom of the table – Pune has eight points from four wins in 13 games, stats which Punjab mirrors. > Read: Gujarat Lions v Mumbai Indians preview
Despite rain likely to play spoilsport, Dhoni would love to see his boys shrug off the depressing season to end on a winning note and avoid the ignominy of finishing at the bottom.
Dhoni was apparently pleased with the way his bowlers helped record a win over Delhi Daredevils at this venue in their last rain-affected game here. “It’s good to see them bowl as a unit together. There’s no real point taking any extra pressure,” he said after the win against Delhi.
“We will look at the next game to give a chance to some bowlers. Now that we are not in the tournament, it gives an opportunity to see what they can do,” he said.
But, it is obvious that it has been a no-show from Pune with Ajinkya Rahane and Ashoke Dinda being exceptions.
On the other hand, the Murali Vijay-led Punjab’s story is no different to Pune’s dismal run. Despite having big hitters like Glen Maxwell (he has since gone home with an injury) David Miller and Gurkeerat Singh Mann in the middle-order, it has been a struggle.
It will be interesting to see how the bowling attack of pacers Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and Kyle Abbott, and left-arm spinner Axar Patel recovers after the mauling it took the other day at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle.