It is a nail-biting time at the Indian Premier League (IPL) for most of the teams. Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals will fight for the last playoffs spot in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore have already qualified for the playoffs.
RR and MI are still in contention. So are Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings; the latter, though, is the worst-placed among the contenders as it is on 10 points with just a game in hand.
For MI, the tournament’s most successful team with five titles, this has been a season of disappointment. Rohit Sharma’s men could still dream of an unprecedented hat-trick of trophies, but they cannot afford to wait any longer to get their act together.
RR is in a familiar situation. It will hope to cross the line this time around.
MI needs special performances from its match-winners such as Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
The Royals may have been handicapped in the second phase by the absence of three of their biggest match-winners, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer, but they could take heart from the way Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, Evin Lewis and skipper Sanju Samson chased down a formidable target set by CSK in their last match.