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Set for royal scramble

Rajasthan Royals have to win three of their next four matches to advance. Khurram Habib reports. Match box

india Updated: May 09, 2011 09:20 IST
Khurram Habib

The biggest lesson Rajasthan Royals learnt from their last match against the Chennai Super Kings was that they have to check Mike Hussey, who somehow manages to rotate the strike and keep the dot balls off his scoring sheet.

"You can't allow Mike Hussey to rotate strike," said Johan Botha on Sunday.

"Unfortunately, we allowed him to milk runs and that cost us." When the two sides met in Chennai on Wednesday, champions CSK coasted to an eight-wicket win, thanks to the experienced Aussie batsman.

However, since then, they have suffered a loss against the Knight Riders, and like Rakasthan Royals, been pushed down the table.

Final bend
Both CSK and Royals are neck and neck in the points table, each having played 10 games. While Dhoni's men are fourth with 12 points, Warne's team are at fifth with 11 points. The teams finishing in the top four after the league stage will qualify for the play-offs.

The Rajasthan Royals have had a long rest but the final bend is going to be tough for them. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/090511/09_05_11-metro-16.jpg

They face Chennai Super Kings and Royals Challengers Bangalore at home and Mumbai Indians away in three of their last four matches. What is worse, they have to win at least three to make it to the next stage.

"I think it is good that we've got tough matches. It'll help us for the final stages," said Botha.

As expected, the square for the last two games here has been changed. Sachin Tendulkar didn't like the pitch provided for the April 29 game here, calling it low and slow. His views weren't appreciated by skipper Shane Warne.

"I think there could be a change or two in tomorrow's match looking at the pitch," said Botha.

It wasn't a surprise then to see Aussie paceman Shaun Tait making the RR batsmen smell the leather during nets later in the evening. He could find a place in the eleven in place of a slow bowler.