Upper hand for Royals
On a roll after a hattrick of wins, Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals will have their tails up when they take on a depleted Kolkata Knight Riders, which is struggling after back-to-back defeats, in Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Warne has transformed his team from underdogs to frontrunners and hopes to continue the winning streak against the Knight Riders who have performed well below expectations in their losses to Bangalore Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians.
With little time in hand to get used to scorching heat and ground conditions, the visitors may find the going tough in a day match.
They are also hit by the loss of overseas players like New Zealand's Brendon McCullum and Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who are leaving for their national assignments.
The form of Knight Riders' skipper Saurav Ganguly has also been a worrying factor and he has failed to make any impression so far.
West Indian Chris Gayle apparently has not recovered from his injury.
However, the visitors can take heart from the fact that local players like Lakshmi Ratan Shukla, Ajit Agarkar and DB Das have done reasonably well.
On the other hand Rajasthan Royals are on a roll.
Playing like a well-gelled unit, they have executed their strategies to perfection.