Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings: Kohli's men to compound CSK misery

RCB captain Virat Kohli
Kohli has his best chance yet of IPL glory

RCB and Chennai have been poles apart this term and Paul Krishnamurty expects the formbook to stand up on Sunday in Dubai...

"I definitely prefer RCB here but am rarely if ever prepared to bet 1.664/6 pre-toss. Instead...place an order to back them at 2.111/10 in-running."

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings
Sunday, 11:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Chennai elimimated already

How the tables have turned! The most consistent side in IPL history, a permanent fixture in the play-offs, are the first team out of the competition. Meanwhile the perennial over-hyped, underachievers are joint top of the table.

Luck doesn't come into it. RCB and Chennai have been poles apart and the betting here is predictably one-sided. It is rare to see one side start at 1.664/6 before the toss but the price is fair.

New RCB bowling unit continue to impress

Now RCB have sorted their bowling out, they are the match of anyone. Whilst not the biggest names, at least yet, they've become a unit that is both economical and potent.

Yuzvendra Chahal is placed fifth and still in contention to be top tournament wicket-taker, now pitches are more spin-friendly. Chris Morris and Mohammad Siraj have taken 15 relatively cheap wickets combined since coming into the side. Washington Sundar has an economy of 5.6.

Chennai to experiment?

Chennai's miserable season hit a new low last time, restricted to just 114 by Mumbai after Trent Boult tore through their top order. Only Sam Curran emerged with credit.

They now have nothing but pride to play for so expect big changes in the line-up and perhaps batting order. Maybe Shane Watson will be dropped to make way for a different overseas player, such as Mitchell Santner. The Kiwi is 20/1 for Top Bat while 22/1 about Ravi Jadeja is also eyecatching.

Of the three grounds, scoring has held up best at Dubai but it has slowed. 154 was only achieved with a six off the final ball last time - ruining my under 150 bet, in keeping with a depressing tournament. That was the lowest first innings total here yet and only the second sub-160.

The reason there have been no very low scores at Dubai is that top orders have started well, thus leaving plenty in hand for the latter overs when the pitch slows. In that last match, Rajasthan got away with several near-misses early.

Lay CSK runs if they bat first

With those trends in mind, any 1st Innings Runs plan depends who bats first. If Chennai bat first, I will happily lay 150 plus at 1.51/2 and 140 plus at 1.241/4 (compared to 1.42/5 and 1.21/5 last time). But I don't want to oppose RCB's batsmen against a possibly demoralised attack.

I definitely prefer RCB here but am rarely if ever prepared to bet 1.664/6 pre-toss. Instead, revert to my "25% rule" and place an order to back them at 2.111/10 in-running.

Try RCB all-rounders for man of the match

It makes sense to focus on their players in the Man of the Match market. Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers are legitimately priced at single-figures but it could well be a bowler that takes the honours, having run through CSK's brittle line-up.

Siraj took the honours last time and is a fair 20/1 bet. However I'll go instead for a pair who've been impressive with the ball and are well capable of an explosive effort with the bat - Chris Morris and Washington Sundar.

In the top batsmen markets, Virat Kohli is an #OddsBoost at 12/5 for RCB, while Faf Du Plessis is enhanced to 3/1 for Chennai.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty


Paul's IPL 2020 P/L

-29.1 units

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