Battle Royale in Jaipur to decide IPL top slot

A buoyant Shane Warne is optimistic of pulling off their fifth straight win when they host the MS Dhoni-led side in the IPL match on Sunday.

updated: May 13, 2008 12:50 IST
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It's Super Sunday in Jaipur as the Rajasthan Royals clash with the Chennai Super Kings. Both teams head the IPL points table and whoever wins the battle Royale will grab the top slot on Sunday.

Besides an exciting encounter, cricket buffs can look forward to a tactical battle of wits between MS Dhoni, who led India to the T20 crown and Shane Warne, who is being seen as one of the shrewdest skippers in the IPL.

Warne's warriors are practising hard before their big clash against Dhoni's Super Kings. The Warne-Ganguly spat may have overshadowed their victory over the Kolkata team but the Rajasthan Royals say it has not diluted their cricketing focus, as they claim that they have some special plans to tame Dhoni and his men.

"We've got some special plans for Dhoni as he's a very destructive player, while sometimes our plans may not work but we've certainly worked hard on those plans. They have got 4 left-handers in their top order and we've got some plans for them. And when Dhoni comes to the wicket, stay tuned," said the Jaipur's team's Director of Coaching Darren Barry.

The Chennai Super Kings, who arrived in Jaipur on Saturday have tasted their first defeat after four consecutive wins while they are yet to find a proper balance after losing key players like Hayden, Hussey and Jacob Oram, they insist the replacements will soon strike form.

Chennai Super Kings coach Kepler Wessels said, "We've got strong top order batting, some good all-rounders in the middle and actually we bat well all the way down. And our bowling has been greatly strengthened by the arrival of Makhaya Ntini and Mornie Morkel and of course we have Muttiah Muralitharan. So we have a very well balanced 20-20 Unit.

Besides the captaincy battle between Warne and Dhoni a special highlight of the match will be the duel between spin legends Warne and Muralitharan.

After four successive wins, the Rajasthan Royals are keen to continue their winning momentum. But Dhoni's Super Kings are also eager to bounce back from their first setback. And as both sides jostle for the top slot, Sunday's clash promises to be a mouth-watering thriller.