Champions League T20 Betting: Royals and T&T have bite to upset the big dogs

Rajasthan will need runs from Dravid
Rajasthan will need runs from Dravid

Our cricket correspondent hopes the unfancied pair make the showpiece final on Sunday but admits that only one of them is value to do so...

"The point about T&T is that they do all aspects of the game well but no-one notices because they don’t have big names doing it. Mumbai, who they face in Delhi on Friday, are almost polar opposites"

Recommended bet
Back-to-lay T&T from 8.6015/2 to 3.002/1

Poor weather has hampered the Champions League's chances of captivating the world and there will be a few sighs of boredom that Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, finalists in this year's IPL, are on collision course again for the showpiece.

A CSK and Mumbai final would please the powers that be. The television audience will be big and India will feel warm and fuzzy about itself that its two stellar franchises will have once again proved to be too good for the world.

The alternative battle for glory is more attractive. It is one for the underdog. Rajasthan Royals taking on Trinidad and Tobago is the showdown the world would prefer. Rajasthan, scarred by the IPL spot-fixing scandal, would get a shot at redemption. As for T&T, well, everyone loves it when the Caribbean is given a boost of cricketing importance.

Of course the outright betting suggests that we will sit down on Sunday to watch familiar fare. Mumbai, the IPL champs, are 2.9015/8 favourites, squeezing Chennai into second position at 2.9215/8. Rajasthan are 4.607/2 and T&T 8.6015/2.

It is good news all round then that the rags could turn to riches. Rajasthan and T&T appear to be underrated, such is the obsession with the superstars in the respective squads of Chennai and Mumbai.

A Royal run
MS Dhoni has achieved many things in the game, some from seemingly impossible positions, but he will have to pull off something of a miniature miracle to get past the Royals in Jaipur. They just don't lose there. The winning sequence now stretches to 12 matches.

Can they do it again? The match odds market says no. Rajasthan are big outsiders at 2.305/4. Chennai are 1.758/11.

We could quite comfortably make a case for the Royals but would it make any sense? It is all very well saying 'they are unbeatable at home', the problem comes when one tries to understand why they are untouchable.

There is no obvious answer. The pitch is not quirky, or different, in any way that would mean players who are most used to it would find it easier. Nor are they backed by ferociously partisan fans who scare the opposition witless.

Perhaps it is purely down to having precise plans for each batsman or bowler the Royals face, and then executing them perfectly. That could work against Chennai but what cannot be discounted is a game-changing event. And they have so many players to initiate one. Dhoni, Bravo, Raina, Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Mike Hussey.

Rajasthan don't rely on individual brilliance. This is just as well as Shane Watson and Rahul Dravid, their two gun players, are having a poor time. Watson has scored only 63 runs and Dravid 42, averaging barely more than 10. One of those two has to perform.

Before the tournament began we flagged up Rajasthan as a value option. They are not the best call, however, as we try to decipher the credit code before the last four. That honour has to go with T&T.

The value
They have been mightily impressive in a similar way to Rajasthan. They squeeze every drop of talent from their squad, and, unusually for a Caribbean side, plan meticulously and field like dervishes.

There is also a lovely balance to their squad. Darren Bravo and Evin Lewis have done the runscoring at the top of the order with 289 runs between them while Lendl Simons and Denesh Ramdin, the captain, have applied finishing touches.

With the ball it is the expected suspects who have done the damage. Sunil Narine, comfortably the best spin bowler in the format, has eight wickets and Ravi Rampaul, who bustles in, has six. The surprise package has been Rayad Emrit, who has been quick, expensive and dangerous. He also has six victims.

The point about T&T is that they do all aspects of the game well but no-one notices because they don't have big names doing it. Mumbai, who they face in Delhi on Friday, are almost polar opposites.
The Indians don't do all aspects of the game well but no-one notices because they have big names
. Punters see Tendulkar, Harbhajan, Pollard, Karthik, Johnson so back them into prohibitive prices.

Pollard aside, who is averaging 48, these market movers are wobbling horribly. Tendulkar has only 20 runs and Harbhajan and Johnson two wickets between them.

For the semi-final they are no better than 1.491/2. We wouldn't touch that with someone else's. T&T are 3.002/1.

A fun way of getting with T&T could be to back them on the outright and then lay off once they get past Mumbai. In a final against Chennai they would probably be around the 2.809/5 mark to back - we are factoring in some shrinkage because there will surely be respect for them getting that far - and if they face the Royals they would probably be 2.305/4.

Recommended bet
Back-to-lay T&T from 8.6015/2 to 3.002/1

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