IPL fanatic Josh Healey (@joshhealey04) has spotted value in today’s double-header.
Hyderabad Sunrisers v Kolkata Knight Riders | Wednesday 11.30 | Sky Sports 1
This is a crucial game for Hyderabad who have lost three of their four games, including their last two which have both been at home. Their side doesn’t have the right balance at the moment and I expect more tinkering to occur before this game, which will only disrupt their batting line-up further.
That’s in stark contrast to Kolkata, who have a settled line-up in which every player understands their respective roles. We have seen glimpses of there being a soft underbelly once you get past Gautam Gambhir & Robin Uthappa, but the sheer depth of the batting line-up has counteracted that so far.
They’ve won three of their four matches this campaign, including their last two which were both away. Kolkata have won their games by restricting their opponents to under par totals, before chasing those totals down with relative ease. Some may argue they’re one dimensional in that respect, but last season they won four of their five fixtures when defending so whether they bat first or not doesn’t concern me.
Hyderabad have a quality bowling attack but their batting has only clicked once this tournament; there’s far too much dependence on David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. KKR arguably have the best bowling attack in the league and it should serve them well here.
I feel Kolkata’s class will shine through in this one. They are a complete side with a lot of depth and versatility, whereas the Sunrisers are too dependent on certain players. It’s worth noting that KKR won both matches between the two sides last season.
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings | Wednesday 15.30 | Sky Sports 1
After winning their first game against reigning champions Kolkata, Bangalore have now lost two in a row, both of which have been at home. Meanwhile, Chennai are three from four as they were well beaten in their last outing against a bang in-form Rajasthan side. That loss will serve as a wake-up call and will only motivate them to bounce back in this outing.
RCB’s bowling has been very weak so far. Last time out they conceded 207 against an out of sorts Mumbai side, and before that they were picked apart by Hyderabad who chased down their below-par target of 167 with 16 balls to spare. Mitchell Starc is likely to return here but there’s no guarantee he’ll fire straight away.
On this pitch I fear for Bangalore’s bowlers once again. Chennai’s batsmen have had two off days so far, which is surprising, but I don’t think they’ll have a third. They will be keen to re-assert their dominance in this match, and whether they bat first or second I can see them doing exactly that.
With Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum both in good nick, the 8/11 on Chennai to notch the highest first six overs score looks a worthy punt. It’s a bet that would’ve landed in 12/16 of CSK’s games last season, including both outings v RCB, as well as in 3/4 this season.
RCB only scored the highest first six overs total in 4/14 last season and have done so in 0/3 this season. Incredibly, in seven IPL matches at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium from 2014-15, RCB have scored the lowest six overs total every time.
Although I don’t think RCB will get off to a blistering start with the bat, there is a man in the middle order who could hurt them if he gets adequate time at the crease. AB de Villiers hit the ball to all parts in the World Cup and he’s made a decent start to the IPL with two scores in the 40s.
De Villiers is seeing the ball extremely well, as was shown in the last game where he smashed 41 from 11, and if given the opportunity to bat for a long enough period of time he could seriously hurt CSK.
Apart from Gayle’s sensational, if a little fortunate, knock in their opening game, RCB’s top order has been very disappointing so far. I’d be surprised if de Villiers wasn’t promoted to number 4 in the order ahead of Dinesh Karthik in this game, but either way I’m happy to back him to top score for RCB at odds of 7/2 with 888 Sport.
Hyderabad Sunrisers v Kolkata Knight Riders – Kolkata Knight Riders/ Chennai Super Kings double (15/8 Ladbrokes)
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings – Chennai Super Kings highest first six overs score (8/11 BetVictor)
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings – AB de Villiers top Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman (7/2 888 Sport)
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