As Sunrisers and Delhi face off for a place in the final, Paul Krishnamurty says the former, especially their bowlers, are in much better shape...
"It is notable that three of those five reversals of the recent trend involved Delhi failing to chase. They've been the weakest side in the tournament over the past fortnight."
Delhi Capitals v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunday, 14:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Just three teams and two matches remain in this year's IPL. Mumbai Indians are already through to Tuesday's final, awaiting the winner of this final qualifier.
Update on earlier outright positions
Before getting to the match preview, an update on my outright positions on both sides. I'm guaranteed a finalist and have no desire to take on mighty Mumbai.
Therefore, if you followed my tips on Delhi and Sunrisers at 8.27/1 and 48.047/1 respectively, now back Mumbai at 1.84/5 for the title for 25 units. That guarantees at least 13 units profit from the position, with an extra three on Sunrisers or four on Delhi.
Vast gulf between sides on recent form
Sunrisers thoroughly deserve to start favourites at 1.8910/11. Their season has produced almost the exact reverse trajectory compared to Delhi. They started with two losses and are only here due to winning their last four matches.
That run includes beating Delhi by 88 runs, Mumbai by ten wickets and the other play-off qualifier, RCB, twice. My mid-season bet was premised on their bowlers utilising slowing conditions and so it has proved. Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Thangarasu Natarajan and Jason Holder have become an outstanding unit in recent matches.
Delhi look very low on confidence
Delhi in contrast won seven of their first nine matches to top the table, but have crumbled. They've lost five of the last six, with the only victory coming after winning a favourable toss. Four of those defeats were thrashings.
Apart from confidence, I don't have an explanation. They are stacked with world-class talent with bat and ball. Of course great players turn up on these big occasions so there's no way I'm writing off a team including the likes of Pant, Dhawan, Rabada and Stoinis, but it is hard to make a case for them collectively on recent evidence.
Chasers advantage makes toss critical
All things, however, are not equal at this stage of the season. The toss has become absolutely critical. The chasing side has won 18 of the last 23 matches in the tournament. It makes no sense betting before the toss.
It is notable that three of those five reversals of the recent trend involved Delhi failing to chase. They've been the weakest side in the tournament over the past fortnight. I'm determined to oppose them here, but will wait for 25% higher odds in-running about Sunrisers. Place an order at 2.3611/8.
Low scores likely in slow conditions
Keep an ear open in the build-up about which pitch is being used. Generally conditions have become much slower at Abu Dhabi. In the Eliminator, the 1st Innings Runs par line opened around 165 but never looked like getting close. Even 132 was not a straightforward chase for Sunrisers.
Judging by the Sportsbook odds - 12/5 about both sides reaching 160 - that low score will be taken into account when run lines are formed. The two previous scores were 152 and 153, and we've also recently seen 84 and 125 here.
However I'm mindful of three other recent scores ranging from 185 to 195 on a different pitch. It should be clear from the first couple of overs whether this is another slow surface. If so, 150 is a good score.
The favourites in the Top Batsman and Top Wicket Taker are enhanced with #OddsBoosts. Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner are 3/1 and 12/5 respectively for the former. Kagiso Rabada and Rashid Khan are both 21/10 for the latter.
Sunrisers bowlers to make the difference
Short odds rarely appeal to me in these markets, although Rashid is a better price than usual with ball. Once again, I will try 50/1 about him with bat. It hasn't paid off in this IPL but has previously.
Finally with Sunrisers fancied to march forward, I'm focusing on their bowlers in the Man of the Match market. The combined odds of Rashid, Holder, Sharma and Natarajan pays above 3/1. With a low-scoring game likely, one of them could well provide the matchwinning effort.
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty
Paul's IPL 2020 P/L
-5.7 units (Add 3 if Sunrisers win title, 4 if Delhi win title)
Place order to back Sunrisers Hyderabad 3u @ 2.3611/8
Back Rashid Khan for Top Sunrisers Batsman 0.2u @ 50/1
Back Rashid Khan for Man of the Match 1u @ 12/1
Back Jason Holder for Man of the Match 0.75u @ 14/1
Back Sandeep Sharma for Man of the Match 0.5u @ 20/1
Back Thangarasu Natarajan for Man of the Match 0.5u @ 20/1
Updated Outright Advice (Only applies to those on two previous bets)
Back Mumbai Indians 25u @ 1.84/5
Back Delhi Capitals to win IPL 2020 6u @ 8.27/1
Back Sunrisers Hyderabad to win IPL 2020 1u @ 48.047/1