After winners at [2.5], [4.5] and a dead-heated [4.0] from three bets last time out, Jamie Pacheco tells us why Hyderabad are the bet here and how Kane Williamson's go-slow approach can deliver us a winner as well.
"You’ll find far worse prices this week in the world of betting than the 1.92 on the Sunrisers to win this. They’re yet to show an obvious weakness, have momentum on their side and all in all just look a better all-round team than the Kings XI."
Kings XI v Hyderabad Sunrisers
Thursday April 19 15.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Finch under pressure
The Kings XI have started well with two wins from three. One of the great challenges in the IPL is always to get the right balance, especially in terms of your overseas players and they seem to be getting closer to that.
Chris Gayle won't have been particularly amused about sitting out the first two games but when he got his chance, he made the most of it, smashing 63 off 33. Majeeb Ur Rahman, the Afghanistan teenage spinner has been their most economic bowler while Andrew Tye has been a tad expensive but will surely come good sooner rather than later.
At the moment it's Aaron Finch who's the problem, though. He's been out for successive first-ball ducks and though, like Tye, he's too good a player to not recover from that, he needs to start making an impact very soon. It's one heck of a luxury to have an overseas spot occupied by a guy who can't buy a run. Marcos Stoinis, the hard-hitting all-rounder would be the obvious choice to come in for him. Or David Miller, a more natural middle order batsman than what Finch is.
But the key man has arguably been the skipper, Ravi Ashwin. He's taken four wickets at an economy rate of 7 an over, scored 47 from two knocks at an excellent strike rate and captained the side sensibly.
All falling into place for Sunrisers
So much for Hyderabad struggling to recover from the loss of David Warner. Not only have they won all three games so far, the only side to do so, but they look a happier outfit under Kane Williamson.
Under Warner it was all aggression, in-your-face celebrations and a do or die mentality which didn't seem to sit well with some of the players. Under Williamson the vibe is far more relaxed and brotherly and the players seem to be enjoying that.
At the moment they're doing everything right. Their top order batsmen are getting runs, the bowlers are all taking wickets and bowling economically and the fielding has been exceptional. They'd be mad to change their winning side unless someone is injured.
You'll find far worse prices this week in the world of betting than the [1.94] on the Sunrisers to win this. They're yet to show an obvious weakness, have momentum on their side and all in all just look a better all-round team than the Kings XI.
They're a bit like Leicester in the Premier League a couple of seasons ago in that the layers didn't much fancy them to start with and are being rather stubborn in believing they're not the real deal. That's why they're bigger than they should be at 5.0 to win the competition and bigger than they should be to win this. All the better for us.
Ah, the IPL. Where spinners tie batsmen in knots on turning wickets and end up top of the pile for wickets taken. Right? Well, try telling that to batsmen who have had to face Big Bad Billy Stanlake. The Australian, who is 2.04 metres tall and was already impressive in the Big Bash earlier this year, has been bowling some absolutely brutish deliveries. A reminder that there's a place for big, quick, aggressive fast bowlers on any track in the world.
He has some good guys to beat here including an early candidate for Player of the Tournament in Rashid Khan (9/4), the wily Buvi Kumar (11/4) and Shakib Al-Hasan (7/2), the incredibly accurate left-arm spinner.
But I just think that the challenge posed by Stanlake, already on five wickets, will be something the Kings XI batsmen may just not know how to deal with. He's 7/2 to be top-wicket taker for Hyderabad and it's worth a bet.
Shikhar Dhawan sits in fifth place for most runs scored so far in the IPL, with 130. He's a class act who has top scored in a couple of ICC tournaments in the past. Sunrisers' next top scorer is Kane Williamson, the captain, with 92.
That Dhawan has a strike rate of 141 and has hit 22 fours to Williamson's strike rate of 110 and eight fours tells you all you need to know.
The former will go at it hard and take risks, Williamson will always look to bat through and minimize his own chances of getting out.
My preference is very much for Williamson at a considerably bigger 10/3 to the Indian opener's 12/5.
Jamie's IPL 2018 P/L
Staked: 5 pts
Returned: 13 pts
P&L: +8 pts