Match 34 – Rising Pune Supergiant v Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview

Is it all over for the Royal Challengers? We keep backing them to end their poor run of results and they keep letting us down so maybe it’s time we lost faith. One point ahead of Delhi at the bottom of the table, RCB have already played nine games so they must make one of their trademark late surges to stand any chance of making it out of the groups.

Pune also lost last time out as they went down to the Knight Riders but three straight wins prior to that has kept them in the top four. Form suggests a win for the Supergiants but it’s a tight market with the Royal Challengers rated on reputation rather than recent results.

Match Odds

RCB come into this game as favourites at 1.80 with Bet365 while anyone taking a look at Pune will find a price of 2.00 with Bet365 and Betway. Bangalore have really done nothing to justify an odds on figure although we know that huge potential remains in a side that can field Gayle, De Villiers and Kohli.

Pune had impressed with those three straight wins although it was their bowlers who had really got them over the line in tight finishes. Steve Smith’s side also won in Bangalore so should we be backing the outsiders? The answer should be yes but my only thought is of RCB and how they always seem to put together a string of late wins. I’ll back the Royal Challengers in the belief that it will happen again.

Match Odds Summary: Rising Pune Supergiant 2.00 (Bet365), Royal Challengers Bangalore 1.80 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick)

Top Batsmen

Unfortunately, much of RCB’s issues lie with Virat Kohli and his initial absence through injury, followed by the fact that the skipper hasn’t matched his efforts from last year. Kohli starts as favourite again in the Royal Challengers’ top batsman market but may look too short for some at a top price of 3.00 with Bet365. AB De Villiers is slightly further back at 3.25 with Bet365 while Chris Gayle is quoted at a best of 4.33 with Bet365 again.

Is Shane Watson ready to come back into the reckoning? After Pawan Negi top scored with just 32 against the Lions it seems that RCB need some reinforcements and the Aussie all-rounder is quoted at 5.50 with Bet365.

I’m leaving RCB alone after Negi top scored last time out and Kedar Jadhav top scored prior to that with just 9. Instead, the next tip comes from the Supergiant’s top batsman market where Steve Smith is the slight favourite at odds of 3.60 with Bet365, just ahead of Ajinkya Rahane at 3.75 with Bet365.

Alternatives here include MS Dhoni at 7.50 with Bet365 and Ben Stokes at 7.00 with Bet365 but I’m sticking with Smith after he gave us the profit against KKR last time out.

Top Batsman Odds Summary: Rising Pune Supergiant: Smith 3.60 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Rahane 3.75 (Bet365), Stokes 7.00 (Bet365), Dhoni 7.50 (Bet365).

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Kohli 3.00 (Bet365), De Villiers 3.25 (Bet365), Gayle 4.33 (Bet365), Watson 5.50 (Bet365)

Other Side Bets

I feel that the Royal Challengers should be bringing back Tymal Mills for this game, assuming he is fit although I was also impressed with Adam Milne when he came in. Bowling is less of a concern for RCB than their batting but something should change and Mills is one of a clutch of bowlers quoted at odds of 4.00 with Bet365 to return best figures for their side.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree can also be picked up at that price of 4.00 with Bet365 and of the three, Chahal is showing some form and is the better option.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Top Bowler Odds Summary: Chahal 4.00 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Mills 4.00 (Bet365), Badree 4.00 (Bet365).
As mentioned, there isn’t too much wrong with this bowling attack but the batting for RCB is a real concern. Against a strong Pune attack they need to improve and while there’s been nothing to suggest that they will, I just feel that the Royal Challengers are ready for one of those late surges and will win this – somehow.