The Capitals are decent odds to beat a highly inconsistent Royals side, where a couple of big-priced lower middle-order batters are a worth a punt as well, says Jamie Pacheco...
"You’ll see far worse prices this Friday than this one on Delhi. They’re 8/111.72 and that’s a decent price on a side who’s second in the table with a game in hand, looks beautifully balanced and has just about every last player in form."
Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Capitals
Friday October 9, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports
Royals under huge pressure
Those early wins seem a long way away now. Recently it's been the Rajasthan of old, with the overseas players generally doing their bit and the local ones not making enough of an impact.
Last time out it was a heavy defeat at the hands of Mumbai. The Indians are top of the table and the Royals won't be the last side to get soundly beaten by them but it was a typical case of the bowlers going for far too many, with only Shreyas Gopal and Jofra Archer showing any sort of control, and then only Jos Buttler showing any sort of resistance with the bat, bar a late cameo from that man Archer.
It wasn't just the defeat, it was also the damage done to their net run rate. It's somewhat early days yet but you'd think they have to win at least three of their next four to be in with any sort of chance of making the Play-Offs.
We know that Ben Stokes is in quarantine in the UAE but information is a bit thin on the ground in terms of when he's actually allowed to play. The fact that the Betfair Sportsbook haven't included him in any markets suggests he's not playing in this one but apart from anything else, one has to wonder what sort of shape he'll be in after weeks and weeks without competitive cricket.
All-round Delhi highly impressive
We always knew Delhi had one hell of a batting line-up but it's their bowling that has really taken us by surprise.
It includes Purple Cap leader Kagiso Rabada (12 wickets) and 7-wicket man Anrich Nortje, who has consistently been the fastest bowler in the tournament. Last time out when they beat RCB it was yet another man making a decisive contribution though, Axar Patel's spell of four overs going for just 18 runs and yielding two wickets. He ended up being man of the match but the fact that Rabada (four wickets in the game), Prithvi Shaw (42 off 23) and Marcus Stoinis (53 off 26) would all have been deserving recipients of it shows this is no one-man team.
Make no mistake about it. The Capitals are real contenders this year.
Delhi hold all the trumps
You'll see far worse prices this Friday than this one on Delhi. They're 8/111.72 and that's a decent price on a side who's second in the table with a game in hand, looks beautifully balanced and has just about every last player in form.
A stark contrast to this Royals team who keep on changing their players, their batting order and look almost solely dependent on Archer to do something special with the ball.
Given that big knock from Buttler last time out was his first major contribution of the season and that Sanju Samson and Steve Smith have gone off the boil of late and the Capitals just appear to have far too many weapons for them.
I suppose the good news for the Royals is that the game is in Sharjah so they'll be hoping their best chance is to edge a high-scoring game rather than having to be street-smart on a trickier wicket but then again, Delhi's batsmen could have a field day themselves on a good wicket with short boundaries. The Capitals are a confident selection.
As mentioned already, Smith (11/4) and Samson (7/2), who started so well, have been badly out of nick of late. Buttler (9/4) is obviously world class and justified favourite to be Royals top bat but I can envisage a scenario where they're chasing a huge total and their top order go for broke and keep getting get out, or just that Delhi's bowlers are too good for them.
In other words, it's not impossible that someone in the lower-middle order only has 25 or 30 to beat. Rahul Tewatia (14/1) has already shown glimpses of being a proper player when in the mood and Archer (75/1) has even been promoted a couple of times and asked to swing for the rooftops. This was the ground where he went ballistic against CSK, hitting 27 off 8 balls.
By splitting stakes between those two, we may have a really good run for our money if the Royals do indeed have a batting collapse.
Playing the Delhi Capitals' top batsman market is a tough challenge. Anyone in the top six is more than capable of playing a big knock in what is arguably the best batting line-up in the tournament.
If you want to have a go, the pick may just be Marcus Stoinis. He's been priced up at 6/1 or greater in every match to date and has already won it twice in five games. Backing him every time would be a smart move given those numbers and he's 6/1 again this time round.
JAMIE'S 2020 IPL P&L
Back Delhi to win @ 8/111.74
Back Rahul Tewatia to be Royals Top Batsman @ 14/1
Back Jofra Archer to be Royals Top Batsman @ 75/1