IPL 2013 preview: Rajasthan, Mumbai collide in battle for supremacy

Shane WatsonShane Watson celebrates a wicket during a IPL 2013 match. (PTI)

Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians have had a dream run in the IPL 2013 so far. Having won last four of their five fixtures, the teams are high on confidence and form.

Rajasthan completed a clean sweep over visiting oppositions as the inaugural champions ended their home fixtures without a defeat to their name. Mumbai, too, are yet to taste defeat at home, and will look to capitalise on Rajasthan's away woes at Wankhede today.

The race to the play-offs took an exciting turn with Royal Challengers Bangalore crashing to defeat yesterday. Bangalore's latest result seals the top-three positions, with only the fourth slot up for grabs.

With the top three teams well ahead of the one fighting it out in the middle, only the sequence is expected to go for a toss after today's fixture. If Rajasthan win in comprehensive fashion today, they can topple Chennai at the top. And, if Mumbai continue their home dominance, they are also expected to rise to the No. 1 position.

Whatever the permutations and combinations are, only the sequence is expected to change as the real battle is for the available fourth slot.

Sachin likely to miss last home game?

Sachin Tendulkar is expected to miss Mumbai's last home game after the little master sprained his left hand while batting in the team's last fixture. The right-hander was forced to retire, and the team would not want to risk playing him today and then miss him for the knockout fixtures.

Rajasthan's away woes Mumbai's home advantage

Mumbai hold slight edge today with the sort of run Rajasthan have had away from home. They have lost four out of their six away games, and will have to shed this tag before they commence the knockout fixtures, which are not in Jaipur. Rahul Dravid and Co. need little fine tuning in certain areas, and if they manage to do so, they will be the team to beat this year.

... contd.

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