x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Warne will not let up on surge

The Royals, after losing their first three games, have regrouped with two wins on the trot and Warne is unlikely to stop against Deccan Chargers today.

Australian cricket lore talks of a day, in the late 1990s, when Adam Gilchrist was left fuming by Shane Warne's merciless sledging in a domestic game. Their relationship has remained testy since, despite eight years of international cricket that saw them emerge as one of the most successful bowler-keeper combinations. And there is every possibility the gloves could be off again tonight when Warne's Rajasthan Royals take on Gilchrist's Deccan Chargers in the battle of the two IPL champions.

The Royals, after losing their first three games, have regrouped with two wins on the trot and Warne is unlikely to stop at anything to keep that upward mobility going, as he suggested yesterday. "As the Rajasthan Royals had said - we will fight and we are going to see a contest," said the spinner about the upcoming contest. "The IPL is all about intensity. Everything you do has got to be intense. If you are going to bowl a bouncer, you've got to really mean it.

"So if we can play with some intensity and a bit of character, we are going to be OK. We are a team where everyone's just got to try and contribute. We don't rely on one or two players." The Chargers, however, have had no worries at all until now. The defending champions seem to be on cruise control with three wins on the trot since losing the opening match to the Kolkata Knight Riders. Gilchrist has been giving them whirlwind starts, Andrew Symonds has been a match-winner with bat and ball, while Chaminda Vaas is wearing the "purple cap" as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament.

"It is pleasing being in the situation we are in," said Gilchrist. "We've got a great bond that is a legacy of last year's victory. It's certainly something that has been an asset for us." Rajasthan Royals v Deccan Chargers at 6.30pm on CricOne