RCB remain clear favourites to win the 2017 version of the Indian Premier League but they will have to play last year’s Champions without two of their most influential players. With KL Rahul out for the entire season, it’s vital that they get Virat Kohli back into the starting XI as soon as possible but as we get ready for the start of IPL10, do the Sunrisers have a sudden advantage?
This is a very tight market with some bookies quoting the same win price on both teams but, with 48 hours to go before the first ball is bowled, the Royal Challengers are slight favourites at 1.90 with Betfair. That leaves the Sunrisers as the marginal outside bet at 2.05 with Betway.
Obviously a lot depends on key players here; while SRH may have won the title in 2016, their batting was almost entirely dependent on David Warner and, on occasions, Shikhar Dhawan. Over in the RCB camp, it’s down to AB De Villiers and Chris Gayle now that Rahul and Kohli are out.
But, the real key could lie with the Hyderabad seamers who were so influential throughout IPL9. That’s where this game is likely to be won and lost and I expect the Challengers to struggle without those two men.
Match Odds Summary: Royal Challengers Bangalore 1.90 (Betfair), Sunrisers Hyderabad 2.05 (Betway – Editor’s Pick)
Throughout last season you could have backed both De Villiers and Kohli all tournament and taken consistent profits. While Virat was brilliant, let’s not underestimate the South African – AB was third in the Orange Cap list with 687 runs and is my pick for top RCB batsman here at 4.0 with Bet365.
Other options include Gayle at 4.50 with Bet365 and Shane Watson at 5.50 with Bet365 again but it’s AB for me in the lead up to this game.
As for the Sunrisers, it was a similar situation with David Warner picking up consistent profits in his team’s top batsman betting. The Aussie left hander caught some criticism in India for his performances in the recent test series so he has a point to prove and he tends to start a limited overs tournament strongly.
Once again, you have some options in this market with Shikhar Dhawan at 4.00 with Bet365 and Kane Williamson at 5.00 with Bet365 but Warner is the pick at odds of 3.00 – also with Bet365.
Top Batsmen Odds Summary: Royal Challengers Bangalore: De Villiers 4.00 (Bet365), Gayle 4.50 (Bet365), Watson 5.50 (Bet365)
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Warner 3.00 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick) Dhawan 4.00 (Bet365), Williamson 5.00 (Bet365)
There is so much talent in the SRH bowling line up that you could start with their top bowler market where it shows a three-way tie for the favourite’s berth between Ashish Nehra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan. Those three men are at 4.33 with Bet365 while last year’s hero – Mustafizur Rahman is at 4.50 with Bet365 again.
The first tricky call is to decide just who SRH will play from their quality list of seamers – they also have Ben Laughlin and Chris Jordan in their ranks. So, we will avoid that particular bet for now and finish our tips with something a little shorter.
Royal Challengers may be missing Kohli and Rahul but their true big hitters – Gayle, De Villiers and Watson – are still here and while there is some explosive power in the Sunrisers camp, I’m taking RCB to hit the most sixes at 1.66 with Bet365.
Most Sixes Odds Summary: Royal Challengers Bangalore 1.66 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Sunrisers Hyderabad 2.75 (Bet365), Draw 7.50 (Bet365).
As for the match result, it should be down to the Sunriser’s bowlers versus RCB’s top order and with those two men missing, I’m backing an opening win for SRH.