Jaipur: Playing their last match on home soil, Rajasthan Royals would look to consolidate their number two position in the points table and upstage top-placed title contenders Chennai Super Kings when the two most balanced sides clash in a Pepsi IPL match, here on Sunday.
Rajasthan’s citadel has been breached just once in the tournament so far when they were outplayed by Mumbai Indians, and the hosts would look to sign off their home campaign on a high.
Moreover, Rajasthan were beaten by the table-toppers in an away game and they would like to return the compliment.
Rajasthan have done exceedingly well while chasing, their last two victories were comprehensive, and Chennai have emerged as superb defenders.
The batsmen in both the teams are in sparkling form. The only thing that gives a slight advantage to Chennai is their bowling.
Mohit Sharma has been a revelation upfront while R Ashwin and Dwayne Bravo have done well in the middle overs.
The key to Rajasthan would be to contain the marauding Chennai batsmen.
The way they recovered from the shocking defeat against Mumbai Indians, Chennai have only looked more dangerous.
Even if Rajasthan get Michael Hussey or Suresh Raina out early, they have to contend with in-from CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has changed many a games on his own with his power-hitting.
James Faulknar, Ajit Chandila, Kevon Cooper and Shane Watson have a tough task at hand but if they click, Rajasthan would be in with a very good chance.
Rahul Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane, Watson and Sanju Samson form a very formidable batting line-up, capable of chasing down any total, so it will boil down to how the home bowlers perform.
They have done well in last two matches, restricting Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab in the vicinity of 150 but they were the struggling sides not expected to cause much trouble.
The real test is tomorrow and a good show would allow them to be in a relaxed frame of mind for the next two away games.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Owais Shah, James Faulkner, Ajit Chandila, Siddharth Trivedi, S Sreesanth, Brad Hogg, Fidel Edwards, Kevon Cooper, Kushal Perera, Samuel Badree, Shaun Tait, Ankit Chavan, Ashok Maneria, Dishant Yagnik, Harmeet Singh, Kumar Borsea, Pravin Thambe, Rahul Shukla, Sachin Baby, Shreevats Goswami, Vikramjeet Malik.
Chennai Super Kings: M S Dhoni (c), Akila Dananjaya, Albie Morkel, Srikkanta Anirutha, Ankit Rajpoot, Baba Aparajith, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Dwayne Bravo, Francois du Plessis, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Nuwan Kulasekara, R Karthikeyan, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ronit More, Shadab Jakati, S Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar and Wridhiman Saha.