Stick with openers
It's that time of year where we bang the drum for opening batsman in the IPL. We say it every pre-season but you really need your head read if you pick a top runscorer betwho doesn't open the batting.
Only twice in IPL history has a top runscorer not batted at No 1 and 2. Only twice has the winner not made it to the play-offs.
Below we have sorted each of the possible the openers by runs per innings in the last two years. You will spot their team name in brackets.
IPL openers last two years innings/runs/runs per innings
Rahul (LSG) 27/1296/48
Kishan (MI) 6/336/56
Gaikwad (CSK) 20/834/41.7
Agarwal (PK) 23/865/37.6
V Iyer (KKR) 10/370/37
Dhawan (PK) 33/1205/36.51
Faf (RCB) 26/909/34.9
Rana (KKR) 11/369/33.5
Buttler (RR) 13/397/30.5
Padikkal (RR) 29/884/30.4
Warner (DC) 23/696/30.2
De Kock (LSG) 27/800/29.6
Gill (GL) 31/918/29.6
Rohit (MI) 25/713/28.5
Shaw (DC) 28/707/25.2
Jaiswal (RR) 13/289/22.2
*Gurbaz (GL), Rawat (RCB) and Conway (CSK) are making IPL debut
KL Rahul is clearly the man to beat. And it's no surprise that the Lucknow Super Giants hitter gets favourite status at 7/1 with Sportsbook.
But there's early value on the RPI filter isn't there? Ishan Kishan has a standout mark, albeit for a skinny study sample. It's time he turned potential into big runs. Considering Mumbai should go deep, taking a risk at the 14/1 would make sense.
Perhaps smarter, though, is the 5/2 that he downs 11/10 jolly Rohit Sharma for top Mumbai bat. There's not much to beat in terms of runs per innings. Bet the market here.
Last two years IPL innings/runs/runs per innings
Williamson (SRH) 21/583/27.7
Tripathi (SRH) 27/627/23.2
Kane Williamson (above)and Rahul Tripathi have not opened in the last two years in IPL, which is why we've had to filter. Williamson, a winner four years ago, is a price at 11/4 for top SRH bat. Bet the market here. Tripathi is the same. The Kiwi is 25/1 for overall top spot but we'd be concerned that Sunrisers don't qualify.
Last year's winner was Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Chennai opener. Chennai, of course, won the title. Gaikwad is 12s for a repeat (a feat managed once). It's not a great price considering he won with the lowest RPI yet. Devon Conway, yet to be tested in IPL, will be strongly fancied at 7/2 to take top CSK honous. He's 22/1 overall.
Another value spot is KKR's Venkatesh Iyer at 16s. He fares well on RPI and with his franchise light on openers, we're confident he reprises his opening role. The 3/1 he tops for KKR is decent considering Shreyas Iyer and Aaron Finch are ahead of him in the betting. We actually have Sunil Narine opening with him for best balance. Check out the team guides here.
Bet top runscorer markets here
Top IPL runscorers by year (RPI)
M Hussey 43.1
S Marsh 56
Lockie and Arshdeep eye-catching
Finding a top bowler winner is trickier. Although the winning formula is clear. Ignore all spinners, like 12/1 Rashid Khan, and plump for a pacer who you can be sure will bowl at the death for cheap wickets.
How do we know who will bowl at the death? I hear you cry. Sorted it. Check the team-by-team list below.
The sticking point is that franchises may well mix up their options at the death, unlike their opening batters who get more chances.
RCB speedster Harshal Patel is the holder. He is Sportsbook's second-favourite at 9/1 behind, of course, Mumbai's Jasprit Bumrah at 7/1. Harshal has the edge on strike rate in the last two years.
Taking a wicket sub 16 is the way to go. And there are two strong candidates at tasty prices to consider. Lockie Ferguson is a menace and has little competition for the death slots at Gujarat. He is 20/1. Punjab's Arshdeep is 12/1. He has a superior strike rate to team-mate Kagiso Rabada who is also 12s.
Sportsbook can split the pair for top Punjab wickets, however, so Arshdeep may be values at 2/1. Ferguson is 7/2 for top Gujarat with Mohammad Shami and Rashid both at 7/4.
Availability issues mean Jason Holder and Lungi Ngidi have to be swerved despite insane stats. Play both on the individual match wicket-taker markets.
IPL death bowlers by team/strike rate last two years
CSK Bravo (16.4)/Jordan (20.08)
DC Nortje (16.1)/Thakur (17.8)/Ngidi (12)
GL Shami(16.3)/Ferguson (15.7)
KKR Russell (13.06)/Cummins (22.5)/Mavi
LSG Avesh (16.25)/Holder (11.9)
MI Bumrah (14.3)/Unadkat (33.7)/Mills
PK Rabada (16.22)/Arshdeep (14.70)/Sandeep (26.6)
RCB Siraj (21.5)/Harshal (12.23)/Milne (28)
RR Boult (17.16)/Krishna (21)/Saini (49)
SRH Bhuv (37.4)/Tyagi (24)/Natarajan (23.6)
Bet top wicket-taker markets here
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