A cracking contest is on the cards on Thursday when Chennai Super Kings take on a rejuvenated Rajasthan Royals at SuperSport Park.
Fortunes have followed different routes for both last year’s finalists, who were on a roll in the inaugural edition.
Defending champions Rajasthan Royals are back in contention after ending Delhi Daredevils’ winning streak with a high-voltage performance on Tuesday.
Royals have recovered from the huge first match loss against Royal Challengers and are now in top-four in standings with five points.
Super Kings, on the other hand, badly need a win as they languish in the sixth place in the points tally after only one win in five matches.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team would be wary of Yusuf Pathan’s blistering form. The T20 specialist has played two match-winning knocks — against Knight Riders and Daredevils.
Royals bowlers also looked in fine touch as they restricted a strong batting side like Daredevils to 143.
Skipper Warne, who has been an inspiring figure in the team, marshalled his resources well against Daredevils.
The changes in batting order, bringing Yusuf Pathan down the order, worked perfectly while the bowling shuffle was also productive.
Munaf Patel has been their key bowler while young Kamran Khan has given a tough time to opponents with his speed. Warne has chipped win with crucial wickets.
Super Kings are still to fire as a unit. Their batting led by devastating Matthew Hayden at the top has shouldered all the workload, but the bowlers have failed to defend good totals.
The Chennai team bore the brunt of Herschelle Gibbs in their last outing against table toppers Deccan Chargers.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has asked the bowlers to pull up their socks.
“The bowlers are letting us down. We need to come up with a few ideas. We have struggled in the middle overs. We need to pull up there,” he said.