Ed Hawkins previews Saturday's contest from the Feroz Shah Kotla between two teams who have been eliminated
"Until Bangalore focus on what actually wins matches - rather than who sells tickets, merchandise and woos sponsors - a record of two qualifications in seven years will continue"
Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Saturday 12 May 15.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
For the sixth year running, and for the eighth time in the last nine, Delhi Daredevils have bowed out of the IPL at the group stage. It's a stunning story of ineptitude.
A couple of years back they put their faith in youth and hired Rahul Dravid to mentor these young bucks. A team to watch. One to make a note of, follow their progress closely and then look for a big price in a couple of years.
Unfortunately a programme focussed on up and coming players didn't last. The signature of Gautam Gambhir as leader proved misguided while overseas expensive flops like Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Glen Maxwell, Dan Christian and Chris Morris made a mockery of what they were supposed to be building.
It's a shame. Delhi have a core of thrusting talent which deserves better. Rish Pant's unbeaten 124 against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday was the innings of the tournament. It was sensational. But there was little will from other quarters.
Shreyas Iyer, the new skip, might be capable of starting a revolution. And the emergence of Prithvi Shaw is a major boost. But the overall impression of this Delhi squad is one whose backpacker players are there for the cash. This is exposed in the field where they are hopeless at keeping things tight.
Consistent BangaloreRoyal Challengers Bangalore - as we said in our team-by-team guide - are consistent. Consistently short-priced. Consistently awful. We should love them for it because punters revel in seeing a skinny jolly getting beat. But to take them on there has to be a certain amount of loathing.
And why not? The batting talent of Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock should on its own be enough to ensure Bangalore reach the business end. Their natural talent should suffice.
It isn't - and never will be - because there has to be an intensity and obsession about the supposed small things in this format which make the difference. Like team unity, over-by-over significant plans for the opposition and a willingness to work darn hard. Bangalore just reckon they can turn up and whack it.
Moeen Ali could play here. Or maybe not. Colin De Grandhomme could play here. Or maybe not. Corey Anderson ditto. McCullum or De Kock to open? Doesn't matter.
Until Bangalore focus on what actually wins matches - rather than who sells tickets, merchandise and woos sponsors - a record of two qualifications in seven years will continue.
Pitch a belter
The Kotla looked a pretty good batting wicket on Thursday when Pant did the business against Sunrisers. It has to be a belter, surely? How else would Sunrisers be caned so? It's just difficult to believe with this venue because it has a reputation for helping the bowlers. But totals of 196 and 219 in the two previous matches provide further evidence. With these two sides offering little in the way of bowling nous it would be a surprise if 180 was not busted batting first.
This is one of those games which will be won by the team which makes fewest mistakes. These are two poor outfits. It's not who will be better. But who will be worse, if that makes sense.
The match odds market thinks it will be Delhi, who are rated as outsiders at [2.18]. Bangalore are [1.75].
Now, given that Bangalore should only be favourites to beat themselves, we couldn't possibly advise backing them. Delhi are well worth a risk, so long as you make your peace with the face that they could post 180-odd and then lose with seven balls to spare, as they did against Sunrisers.
Pant will be all the rage following his in vain heroics against Sunrisers. Betfair Sportsbook rate him at 7/2. Shaw, who is striking at 163, just seven fewer than Pant, gets a 10/3 quote. These two should be favourites. Instead Maxwell and Munro get top billing at 11/4. Weird.
Kohli is 15/8 favourite for top Bangalore runscorer followed by Manan Vohra at 1-3, Parthiv Patel at 7-2 and De Villiers 7-2. All good players, of course. With nothing to play for, the freedom to swing through the line and the bowling weak, how about an interest in the 7-1 that a ton is scored.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l