IPL 2024: “I don't have time…,” Kumar Sangakkara rules out prospect of coaching Team India

Sangakkara is currently associated with Rajasthan Royals as Director of Cricket and head coach.

Kumar Sangakkara | BCCI-IPL

Rajasthan Royals (RR) succumbed to a 36-run defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 Qualifier 2 at Chepauk on Friday (May 24).

Chasing 176 to win, the Royals were cruising in the powerplay but the duo of Shahbaz Ahmed (3-23) and Abhishek Sharma (2-24) spun a web around and restricted them to 139/7 in 20 overs.

It was a listless batting performance from the inaugural IPL champions. Besides Dhruv Jurel (56* off 35) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (42 off 21), no one managed to cross the 10-run mark.

After the game, Kumar Sangakkara, Director of Cricket at Rajasthan Royals, said that the team's poor performance in the latter stages of the ongoing IPL may have been a result of exhaustion.

Notably, the Royals were leading the points table after winning eight of their first nine games. However, the Sanju Samson-led side lost four straight games in the second half and had to settle for third place.

"I think it was a great season for us. We started well, and then we lost a close game to SRH in Hyderabad and (in) Delhi also, we put ourselves in winning positions," Sangakkara said in the post-match press conference.

"Sometimes you have streaks. RCB lost almost every game at the start and then caught up. That's how T20 goes. All we can do is put ourselves in positions of playoffs and vying for finals, which we did.

"I think all the guys throughout the season played phenomenal cricket. There was a little bit of fatigue at the back end, but it doesn't matter when you're in games like this. You gotta turn up and perform," he added.

Reflecting on the loss, Sangakkara said the middle-order could have performed better during the chase.

"It was just a case of being smart and keeping our composure. Unfortunately, when you lose wickets in clusters, it becomes hard," he remarked. "Even in the RCB chase, if you lose wickets, it gets tense and close. Unfortunately, we needed a little bit more from our middle-order."

Jos Buttler, a key player for the Rajasthan Royals, left the side ahead of the playoffs due to international commitments.

Sangakkara said other hitters should have risen to the occasion, even though he acknowledged that they had no control on international scheduling.

"We always say that the best ability is availability, and unfortunately, we lost Jos. He is a big loss, without a doubt," he stated. "When you're in a playoff like this, and you've got that start without Jos, we expect the other batters to also step up."

Citing time constraints, Sangakkara counted himself out when asked about the possibility of joining the Indian team as head coach after the T20 World Cup 2024.

"I have not been approached, and I don't have time to commit full-time to an India coaching job. Happy with my stint with Royals, and let's see how it goes," he concluded.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 25 May, 2024

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