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Tricky test for Royals

Ahmedabad: Their hopes of making the playoffs all but over, Mumbai Indians would look to upset the equation for Rajasthan Royals, who would be aiming to strengthen their position in the top four when the two sides face off, here, on Monday.

Lying second from bottom in terms of points, Mumbai Indians have won just three of their 10 matches and have hardly looked or played like defending champions. Given the present scenario, another loss at this stage will confirm the end of Mumbai Indians’ chances as far as making the play-offs are concerned.

The Royals, on the other hand, are sitting pretty at No. 3 in the table after notching up seven wins from 11 matches. The 2008 champions have been performing as per the expectations with players yet to attain stardom once again contributing massively to their success, complementing captain Shane Watson and Steven Smith to perfection.

However, the Royals will go into the match after a loss against the formidable Chennai Super Kings, whose incisive bowling exposed some of the batting frailties of the former.

Barring Watson’s half-century, none of their other top-order batsmen contributed significantly as the Super Kings managed to restrict them to a low total before chasing it down with two balls to spare.

It was an off day for the likes of Steven Smith, Karun Nair and Ajinkya Rahane. The trio, however, would look to fire against Mumbai Indians, who have gained some confidence after defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match.Against Sunrisers, it was a rare occasion when their batsmen did justice to their talent and abilities.

For the Royals, they do have depth in their batting with a James Faulkner too possessing the ability to change the complexion of a game with meaty blows at the death, something that was noticed when they beat the RCB from a rather hopeless position. (PTI)