Rajasthan Royals will aim to bounce back into winning ways and book a Playoffs berth when they take on Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match at the DY Patil Stadium on Friday.
The key, however, lies with the enigmatic Jos Buttler who has been instrumental in giving brilliant starts. However, with scores of 22,30,7 and 2 Buttler's dip in form has dented Rajasthan.
The Sanju Samson-led side will move to 18 points, if they pocket a win and in a must-win tie, the team will aim to fire on all cylinders to finish in the top-four position.
Rajasthan have a superior Net Run Rate (NRR) of +0.304 and the Royals will aim to capitalise and finish the league stage with a win.
Although Chennai Super Kings haven't played up to their potential, the MS Dhoni-led side can play the role of party spoilers in their final game. Rajasthan needs Buttler to fire at the top with Yuzvendra Chahal weaving magic with the ball.
Buttler is currently leading the batting charts with 672 runs and will aim to notch his fourth century of the season.
The Royals' success in the tournament has got a lot to do with brilliant starts from Buttler, who has three hundreds and as many fifties -- most of his runs were scored during the first half of the tournament -- and Yuzvendra Chahal's 24 wickets.
While Chahal has maintained his consistency, in the case of Buttler there has been a slight dip in form but the last league game is an ideal time to up the ante before the play-offs.
Rookies Mukesh Choudhary, Simarjeet Singh and Matheesha Pathirana will like to show their wares one last time but the CSK unit's confidence has taken a big dent because of its poor batting efforts for the better part of the tournament.
While Buttler is at the top of the batting chart for Royals, Ruturaj Gaikwad came to the party late with 366 runs, but none of the others have crossed the 300-run mark.
Devon Conway, who played more matches in the second half, has 236 runs to his credit.
Most of CSK's senior players like MS Dhoni (206), Ambati Rayudu (271) and Robin Uthappa (230) haven't had a great IPL and that has been the biggest failure of the yellow brigade.
The bowling suffered a lot because of the absence of an injured Deepak Chahar and the inability to retain Josh Hazlewood.
It was wafer-thin in terms of experience and they paid the price.
Pathirana, with a slinging action that is pretty similar to Malinga, has caught Dhoni's imagination but he is a work in progress.
Similarly, the likes of Mukesh (16 wickets), Simar (3 wickets) and spinner Mahesh Theekshana (12) are good but not assured match-winners yet.
The Royals' bowling attack, perhaps, is one of the best in the tournament with the spin duo of Chahal (24 wickets and ER of 7.76) and Ravichandran Ashwin (10 wickets at 7.15) creating plenty of trouble for the batters.
Prasidh Krishna (15 wickets) has been sharp on most days and when Trent Boult (12 wickets) gets the ball to slant into the right-handers first up, it will be difficult for any top-order.
The Royals' qualification is in their own hands and they would like to keep it that way with a win against Chennai Super Kings.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain), Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayadu, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner, Chris Jordan, Adam Milne, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Dwaine Pretorius, Maheesh Theekshana, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Tushar Deshpande, KM Asif, C Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan, Subranshu Senapati, K Bhagath Verma, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh, Mukesh Choudhary, Matheesha Pathirana.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (C), Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Prasidh Krishna, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, KC Cariappa, Navdeep Saini, Obed McCoy, Anunay Singh, Kuldeep Sen, Karun Nair, Dhruv Jurel, Tejas Baroka, Kuldip Yadav, Shubham Garhwal, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rassie van der Dussen, Daryl Mitchell, Corbin Bosch.
Match Starts at 7:30 PM.
(Inputs from PTI)