Ed Hawkins previews the clash from Rajkot on Tuesday and has some stern critcism for the Royal Challengers
"Gujarat are infinitely better at chasing than defending and are pretty much unbackable when not batting second."
2pts Gujarat Lions batting second at [2.18]
Gujarat Lions v Bangalore Royal Challengers
Tuesday 18 April, 15:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Gujarat just have the one win to their name. But that's hardly surprising as they have failed to pick the right XI. When you don't do that you don't deserve to win.
They are getting there, though. AJ Tye, who should have been in from the start, got them the victory with a hat-trick against Pune. Now they just need to sacrifice one of their 'star' overseas batsmen. Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Jason Roy cannot all play. Smith and Roy have both been tried at No 6.
James Faulkner should be in that role keeping it warm until Dwayne Bravo is fit. No news on when that will be by the way. Ravi Jadeja's return from a fitness is a major boost.
If they paired Aaron Finch and Roy together as openers and picked Faulkner and Tye as their death men they could go places.
Bangalore Royal Challengers
It could well be that Bangalore are one of the worst value sports teams there has ever been. They are one win from five yet are still going off as short favourites. Indeed, in each of their last three games (all defeats) they have traded at skinny margins.
They have the players. AB De Villiers, Shane Watson, Chris Gayle (if picked), Tymal Mills (if fit) and Samuel Badree are a good collection of overseas players from which to choose. And in Virat Kohli, Yuz Chahal and Sree Aravind they have consistent domestic players.
So it has to be attitude and planning. Both seems lacking. How does this line-up lose to a horrible Pune attack when 41 for one in the sixth over chasing 162?
The mid 160s is par at Rajkot and one would suspect, given both batting line-ups, that would be about 15-20 runs short. This season's other games suggest 170 is a must, too. Gujarat posted 183 against Kolkata Knight Riders and were blown away. Pune were blown away with 171 on the board.
Bangalore are [1.74] for this one with Gujarat [2.18]. If you have availed yourself of some of the former please go see a doctor immediately. Gujarat are value here.
But with a caveat. The toss will have to go their way as Rajkot is one for the chasers. Indeed, Gujarat are infinitely better at chasing than defending and are pretty much unbackable when not batting second.
Will we still get [2.18] if Gujarat are chasing? Probably. The market is quick to lop off some points in favour of the chaser but it is also so enthralled to Bangalore that we are confident of getting that and more in-running.
Top Bangalore runscorer
Kohli has played only two matches but his form looks good with one half-century to his name. But he is under [3.0] for honours here and with AB De Villiers also in decent touch and the gap in class tiny, he could be more our pick. He is 11/4 with the Sportsbook.
Top Gujarat runscorer
While on the subject of overrated performers, a mention for McCullum. Still short in the betting, still unreliable. He's a rubbish price at 11/4 even though he is their top runscorer. Suresh Raina, Smith and Roy (when opening) all have better records at copping here. Raina would probably be our pick at 7/2 (Sportsbook).
2pts on Gujarat Lions, if batting second, at [2.18]
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.
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