Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been the two in-form teams in the event so far. While Rajasthan have been unbeaten in the tournament so far, winning four out of four games, so have been Chennai. The only thing that separates the sides is that Chennai have played one game less. It would be fair to say thus that Sunday's match will be a battle of supremacy between the two best sides in the event so far. Thus, both Chennai and Rajasthan would be keen to continue their good work, and extent their unbeaten run. A win would give their confidence further boost.
If you look at Rajasthan's performance, they have done exceedingly well with both bat and ball. Ajinkya Rahane has been the rock at the top of the order, constantly getting runs for his team both while batting first and chasing. Their skipper Steven Smith has also been in good form, and has even played a match-winning knock. Most impressive of all has been Deepak Hooda, who has made a name with his big-hitting in the middle order. His presence has added sparkle to the batting line-up.
Of course, there is still room for improvement for Rajasthan. Sanju Samson hasn't yet fired although he has got a couple of starts. Stuart Binny too hasn't made as big an impression as he had done in the earlier seasons. The injury to their regular skipper hasn't hampered them yet, but they would like Shane Watson back in the thick of things as soon as possible. Speaking of their bowling, the combination of Tim Southee, Chris Morris, James Faulkner, Dhawal Kulkarni and Stuart Binny has been doing an excellent job.
Chennai too have been on top of their game. In the chase against Mumbai Indians, they demonstrated why they are such a dangerous batting outfit. Brendon McCullum may be their star performer, but on days when Dwayne Smith gets his act in order, he can be equally deadly. Ask Mumbai. McCullum himself has continued his splendid form, while Suresh Raina also got some runs against Mumbai. Chennai have what seems like a never ending batting line-up with the likes of Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja around.
Chennai's bowlers have also delivered, with Ashish Nehra leading the way with his experience. The trio of Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey and Bravo has also done a good job. Expect a close contest on the cards.
--By A Cricket Analyst