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Stephen Fleming targets Rajasthan scalp

Posted by on May 9, 2011 0 Comment

Coach Stephen Fleming is looking forward to his side resuming their winning ways when they clash with the Rajasthan Royals in Monday’s Indian Premier League outing.

Having won four matches on the trot, the defending champions failed to make it five wins in a row when they lost to the Kolkata Knight Riders in Saturday’s rain-affected encounter at Eden Gardens.

Currently sitting pretty at third position in the 10-team standings thanks to six victories from 10 matches, a triumph in Jaipur at the start of the week would almost certainly book Fleming’s team a place in the semi-finals of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.

“We don’t expect to lose. This is an extremely tough competition. Teams are beating each other,” said Fleming.

“There are teams on a roll. We’ve just got to make sure we bounce back. Two losses in a row would be an issue were we to lose to Rajasthan. But one game here or there and we’re sure we can bounce back.”

While the Super Kings have made a veritable fortress of their home ground in Chepauk, their away record leaves much to be desired. One win from five games away from the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai this year sees them heading into Monday’s showdown at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur under pressure to perform positively in foreign conditions.

“It’s a challenge. We’re not saying it’s a struggle. I think conditions are varying a lot more at different grounds. I think that’s good. I like the challenge of coming to another ground and being under pressure to perform,” added the former New Zealand captain.

“I think teams are getting smarter. I think the use of the home ground is now becoming an advantage. Teams are looking at what their strengths are and then creating environments where they have the best chance of winning. That’s what home advantage is about.”

The Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, are on the hunt for revenge in the wake of their eight-wicket loss to Chennai earlier in the week.

Awkwardly placed at fifth spot on the log at the turn of the week, Shane Warne’s men desperately need a win over the Super Kings – and another over Bangalore on Wednesday – to book their place in the tournament’s last four teams.

“We have to win a couple of our next few, and if we do that we’ll be in the play-offs,” concluded Warne, who will retire from professional cricket at the end of this year’s IPL. Cricket365

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