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Punjab, who lost to Mumbai Indians in their previous encounter, are currently on top of the table with 18 points from 12 outings. On the other hand, Rajasthan have 14 points from 12 matches and were pushed to the fourth spot on Thursday, after the Kolkata Knight Riders went to 16 points to claim a playoff spot by knocking Royal Challengers Bangalore out of the race.
Rajasthan, champions of the inaugural edition in 2008, have been performing as per the expectations with some little-known players contributing massively to their success, but they are coming into this match after a 25-run loss against Mumbai, paying the price for resting key players such as Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane.
Rajasthan Royals crashed to a 16-run defeat against Kings XI Punjab that kept the race to the play-offs wide open.
Smith and Rahane are likely to make a comeback and need to fire against Punjab, who are on a roll despite suffering defeat at the hands of Mumbai. Barring opener Karun Nair's 48, Brad Hodge's 40 and James Faulkner's 31 down the order, none of their other top-half batsmen contributed significantly in their previous match.