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Cricket: IPL Tournament Preview 2022


TATA Indian Premier League, Season 15

March 26 – May 29, 2022

Mumbai and Pune 

The latest edition of domestic cricket’s biggest tournament begins this weekend.

Ten teams will go toe to toe across two months of action which comes thick and fast. Chennai Super Kings are the defending champions, winners of the IPL on four occasions.

But two newbies will aim to dethrone them. Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants are expansion teams for 2022 and beyond. Will they hit the ground running?

Here at Freebets, we will pick out a series of pre-tournament bets, from tournament winners to top team run-scorer. 

Let’s get stuck into it……..

Royal Challengers Bangalore to break their duck 

As you may have guessed from the title of this page, RCB are my pick to win the tournament, best priced 7/1 with vbet.

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Though still within their ranks, Virat Kohli has been replaced as captain by Francois du Plessis, an IPL winner last year with Chennai. That could be significant. 

Their batting remains stacked with power, including Glenn Maxwell, while their bowling options are aplenty. The signing of Sri Lanka spin wizard Wanindu Hasaranga could prove a masterstroke.

They call him Wowindu for a reason

Sticking with Bangalore for the next bet, and I absolutely love watching leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga bowl and expect him to shine in his maiden IPL campaign. 

The Sri Lankans nickname him Wowindu, such is his skill, potency and popularity.

I think the 5/2 on offer with bet365 for him to be RCB’s top wicket-taker is worth taking. He is second favourite behind seamer Harshal Patel (11/5), though I’m keen to side with a bowler who has had significant recent success.

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In helping Jaffna Kings win the Lanka Premier League just before Christmas he claimed 11 wickets. A few weeks earlier, in the Abu Dhabi T10 League, he was the top tournament wicket-taker with 21 scalps as Deccan Gladiators won that event. 

If you think he can repeat that trick, he is 16/1 with bet365 to be the top tournament wicket-taker.

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As talented with the bat as he is with the ball, Wanindu Hasaranga’s rise in the shorter formats of the game has been astronomical. Here’s more about our ? on @KreditBee presents 12th Man TV. #PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2022 pic.twitter.com/gx09fc8WVy

— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) March 20, 2022

Lucknow could be ‘Luck-no’ and claim the wooden spoon

Of the two newcomers, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, it is the latter who look the weakest to me.

In fact, they look amongst the weakest teams in the competition. Their bowling worries me, highlighted by the late loss of England pacer Mark Wood through an elbow injury.

Betfair have them as 9/2 third favourites – behind Hyderabad and Gujarat – to finish bottom. 

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I think it will be a shootout between Hyderabad and Lucknow as the two cellar dwellers, though Lucknow’s lack of experience as a team may see them claim the unwanted tag. 

Gujarat have plenty of six appeal, opening up a 10/1 shot

The Titans are priced up at 10/1 with bet365 to be the team who hits the most sixes in the IPL. They are the joint outsiders alongside Jos Buttler’s Rajasthan Royals, which surprises me somewhat when you look at their squad.

Matthew Wade, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, David Miller and even Rashid Khan gives it some welly! 

Mumbai are favourites to hit the most sixes at 11/2, Punjab are worthy of consideration at 15/2. Though I would have thought 10/1 on Gujarat may warrant a fiver! 

Gurbaz ? Thala #GujaratTitans Fans Meet Our Opener #RahmanullahGurbaz #IPL2022 #TATAIPL
IPL got 2 helicopters now ? pic.twitter.com/e3oSutIEx2

— Gujarat Titans (@Gujarat_Titan) March 9, 2022

Pooran to recover from shocker and shine for Sunrisers 

West Indies star Nicholas Pooran had an absolute nightmare in last year’s IPL.

Playing for Punjab Kings, he scored only 85 runs in 11 innings with a top score of 32 and an average of 7.72. It was as if he was a tail-ender.

However, new team and a return to form, hopefully! This year he lines up for Sunrisers Hyderabad, a team with plenty of question marks around their batting. 

He is 7/2 with bet365 to be Hyderabad’s top run-scorer behind favourite and injury doubt Kane Williamson (6/4) and Rahul Tripathi (3/1). 

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The left-hander has been incredibly consistent in international T20s throughout the duration of the English winter. In 16 innings for the West Indies since the start of the T20 World Cup in Dubai in October, he has only failed to make double figures twice.

His last three innings, against India in India last month, saw him post scores of 61, 62 and 61. 

He is my choice to lead Hyderabad’s batting. 

Punjab Kings can fly on the back of their English stars

The Kings have lost one of the stars of Indian cricket in KL Rahul, who was one of only three batters in last year’s IPL to top 600 runs (626). Rahul was also the top run-scorer in 2020 and second in 2019. 

However, they have drafted in some serious batting talent to make up for the loss. 

Shikhar Dhawan has come from Delhi, Jonny Bairstow from Hyderabad and Liam Livingstone from Rajasthan. Sri Lanka’s powerful Bhanuka Rajapaksa is set for his debut campaign. 

Their bowling, led by Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh and Nathan Ellis looks more than useful, and I can see them making the top four for play-off cricket.

Betfair have them at 6/5 to finish in the top four, a price I would be taking. 

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I also quite like the 18/1 on offer with bet365 for the final to be contested between Punjab and my tournament favourites Bangalore.

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