TATA Indian Premier League
Wednesday 30 – Thursday March 31, 2022
The IPL continues at pace over the next couple of days, with Royal Challengers Bangalore, my tips for the title, and champions Chennai Super Kings both aiming to bounce back from opening round defeats.
Bangalore failed to defend their 205 total against Punjab Kings, while Chennai were beaten by fancied Kolkata Knight Riders.
The best of the two games on Wednesday and Thursday is the first of them between Bangalore and Kolkata at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai, a venue which looks like it is going to be full of runs.
Back both teams to fire with the bat
On Sunday, Punjab chased down 206 to beat Bangalore with an over to spare in a game which saw a total of 27 sixes hit.
RCB’s batting looked strong, led by captain Faf du Plessis, but their bowling failed them.
I expect them to be better on Wednesday afternoon (3pm UK), but even with that it might not be enough for them to drastically lower the total at a venue with smallish boundaries and a true pitch with some pace in it.
KKR have plenty of power with the bat in Ajinkye Rahane, Venkatesh and Shreyas Iyer, Sam Billings, Nitish Rana and Andre Russell.
So I would be quite keen to take the 11/4 betfair are offering, through their #OddsOnThat selections, for both teams to 180 plus runs.
If you want to be even more adventurous, they are offering 5/1 on both to score 190 plus and 11/1 on 200 plus. But I would rather play a touch safer and stick with that 180.
Jadeja key to any Chennai success
India all-rounder Ravi Jadeja, Chennai’s captain, has been in some excellent form in both Test Match and T20 cricket of late, highlighted by nine wickets and an innings of 175 in an early March home Test against Sri Lanka at Mohali.
If Chennai are to have any chance of defending their title, something which would shock me, he has to shine for them.
There are a couple of bets which have caught my eye for Thursday’s clash with Lucknow Super Giants, also losers in their opening fixture, at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.
The first is the Player Performance market with bet365 – 20 points per, 10 per catch and one per run.
He is 5/6 to accrue over 33.5 points, something he has achieved in four of his last six T20 appearances for club and country, including on Saturday against KKR when he hit 26 with the bat and took a catch.
I would also be keen to take on betfair’s price of 14/1 for him to be Player of the Match.