Royals look to seal play-off spot at home

Rajasthan Royals will get a chance to seal their place in the play-offs of the Pepsi IPL when they take on Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Sunday.

Chennai, who have already make it to the Qualifiers, will look for a psychological edge against Rajasthan as they beat the hosts in their home match, and a win here would pose pressure on Rahul Dravid's team.

Chennai, who have won nine of their last 10 matches, have 20 points from 13 games. They have already crossed the widely-accepted magical mark of 18 points to make it to the play-offs.

Rajasthan are the most feared opponents at home winning all their five matches in Jaipur. They are just below Chennai in the tally.

With nine wins in 13 outings, they have 18 points. A win on Sunday will surely get the required points.

Rajasthan's path to victory, however, will not be easy. Chennai have a formidable batting line-up with Michael Hussey, the tournament's leading run-scorer with 574 in 12 matches, in great form. In the middle-order, fiery Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni can make any bowling lineup look ordinary.

Chennai also have a varied bowling attack with West Indies medium pacer Dwayne Bravo the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 21 scalps in 13 innings. Pacer Mohit Sharma and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with 13 wickets each, have been effective and economical.

On Saturday, a rainstorm halted Chennai's practice session. There will be moisture on the pitch and Bravo and Co. can make the most of the conditions.

However, Chennai can't be complacent against the Royals as the latter have one of the most consistent batting line-ups in the nineteam tournament. Captain Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane have given the team good starts. All-rounder Shane Watson, who scored a ton when the two teams met last time, Brad Hodge and Sanju Samson form a strong middle order.

Dravid is using the home conditions to maximum effect and is experimenting with batting and bowling combinations. The team has also chased targets with ease.

Left-arm pacer James Faulkner is their most effective bowler, with 19 scalps in 11 games. He will get good support from medium pacer Kevon Cooper, who has taken 14 wickets in nine matches, Siddharth Trivedi and Ajit Chandila.

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