Rajasthan Royals face Kings XI Punjab

Having already ensured semifinal berths, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab face each other to gain psychological advantage in Mohali.

updated: May 31, 2008 10:26 IST
  • Total Shares


Having already ensured semifinal berths, Indian Premier League's table topper teams - Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab - would face each other to gain psychological advantage in their last league match at PCA stadium on Wednesday.

Although the outcome of the match is inconsequential, the teams would be locked in a keen tussle as they would like to go with their morale up in the semi-finals.

Besides, the Kings XI Punjab, who had lost to Shane Warne's young team in their previous meeting, would be rather eagar to settle scores.

But the Rajasthan Royals are in terrific form leading the points table having won 11 of their 13 matches, and their latest last-ball win against Mumbai Indians should act as a further morale booster for the Royals.

The Punjab team, too, has been in good form, winning 9 of their 13 matches, and came back strongly after losing first two games initially.

However, the defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders who registered an incredible win after it looked improbable at one stage in the previous match should give Punjab reason to work over weak areas.

One weak area has been pointed out by skipper Yuvraj earlier, who believes there is scope to further improve in the fielding department.

On the other hand Warne led team showed just on Monday in a match against Mumbai Indians at Jaipur that they would like to maintain winning momentum.

The great thing about Rajasthan Royals is that they have not been dependent on any one or two individuals performances, but all have contributed at one stage or the other.

It would be interesting how Punjab's batsmen treat 23-year-old Pakistani import left-arm medium pacer Sohail Tanvir, the leading wicket taker in the tournament.

Royals bowlers would like to test Shaun Marsh, left-hand opening batsman of Punjab and prolific run getter for his team.

The 24-year-old Marsh has shown great maturity even though he is yet to make his international debut for Australia.

On paper, Punjab's batting looks more solid, with the likes of James Hopes, Kumar Sangakkara, Yuvraj Singh, Mahela Jayawardene and even all-rounders like Irfan Pathan and Piyush Chawla have proved their capability.

Even though Royals may not have big names in their batting line-up, yet Kamran Akmal, Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, Mohammed Kaif, Asnodkar and Ravindra Jadeja have proved themselves in this format of the game.

Watson, Pankaj Singh, Warne, Siddharth Trivedi and Tanvir make up a good bowling attack and should match Punjab's Irfan Pathan, S Sreesanth, VRV Singh, Romesh Powar and Piyush Chawla.