It seems like the IPL’s greatest underachievers have done it again: In the absence of CSK, Royal Challengers were pre-tournament favourites this time but Saturday’s defeat in Hyderabad leaves them second from bottom of the table.
The group is still tightly packed and Virat Kohli’s men can yet make it to the play offs but they must start winning games – beginning with Monday’s clash against KKR.
Results Update – April 03, 2016
Knight Riders won by 5 wickets .
- Royal Challengers Bangalore 185/7 (20)
- Kolkata Night Riders 189/5 (19.1)
Match Odds & Game Preview
The Knight Riders had started the week at the top of the table but straight defeats to Mumbai and Delhi leave Gautam Gambhir’s men in third place. It’s still been a positive campaign overall but KKR will need a win to stop that worrying slide.
Selection will be key again: Do the selectors go with the extra spinner and do they play the veteran Brad Hogg? The slow men haven’t had the best of things at IPL9 and if you take out Sunil Narine’s impressive figures, Hogg and Piyush Chawla went for more than ten an over against DD.
RCB felt they could manage without Chris Gayle against the Sunrisers but will surely bring him back after that defeat. The issue however lies with a weak bowling attack that is running out of options.
The Royal Challengers are way ahead at 1.72 with Bet365 for the win, but you can get a handy 2.28 with Betfair on KKR.
Betting Tip: It’s much harder to call than the market indicates but I think RCB’s batters are key to them taking the points.
*Learn to read cricket odds, define were value is.
Top Batsmen Betting Picks
- With Gayle sitting out the last few matches, he drops to odds of 4.50 with Bet365 to top score for Bangalore on Monday in a market where Kohli heads things off at 2.75 with Bet365 again. That is probably the shortest price I’ve ever seen for this type of bet so you may want to get better value with AB De Villiers at 3.40 with Bet365.
- I was disappointed that Gayle didn’t start against SRH as I felt the scene was set for a big contribution. OK so he’d made a poor start to the IPL but he was back in India, out partying and that was his game. I’m less certain about this match but if he starts, 4.50 is a great price for such a prolific player.
- The Knight Riders’ top batsman betting is largely between Gambhir and Robin Uthappa with the skipper just ahead at 3.0 with Bet365. Fellow opener Uthappa has found form and is close behind at 3.20 with Bet365 again.
- There are alternatives with Chris Lynn and Manish Pandey at 6.00 and 5.50 with Bet365 respectively, Betting Tip: but I’m looking to Gambhir to find touch and take a profit here.
Personal Betting Picks
- It’s Sunday and the bookies are slow to react to Saturday’s matches, but the old favourite of taking the Royal Challengers to hit most sixes looks an obvious one at 1.66 with Bet365. Again, that is very short but it should drop in and you can usually make regular returns in this market by backing a side containing such power hitting.
2. The match itself looks much tighter and the weak link among all sides is Bangalore’s bowling. On a pitch where the previous average first innings score had been around 135, they let the Sunrisers get to 194 and that was too much even for their batters.
3. KKR need to adjust their attack and are likely to leave out one spinner. Meanwhile, there is little that the Royal Challengers can do with their bowling line up but I think that with Gayle back, they should be able to post or chase enough runs to take the points here.
In the News
 espncricinfo.com, Yusuf Russell power Knight Riders to scorching win, 2016