Ed Hawkins runs through the Betfair odds to find the best bets for Saturday's contest with Sunrisers looking overly reliant on their opening pair...
"We know Sunrisers are loaded up top with their best players so if cheap wickets fall - a Kings strength - there should be a strong reaction on the market for an in-out profit"
Kings XI Punjab v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Saturday October 24 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Kings have transformed themselves. They have won three on the spin to keep slim play-off hopes alive. It is not wholly surprising considering in the last two editions they had been on the brink of the play-offs only to suffer extraordinary collapses. They are capable of putting a sequence of results together.
There's not a huge amount to like, however, about their balance.
They are overstocked on batsmen now Chris Gayle has been added at No 3, further weakening a bowling unit which is the worst in the competition at the death.
They could remedy that if they were clever. Dropping Glenn Maxwell, or Jimmy Neesham, for Chris Jordan would make sense. Don't hold your breath.
Possible XI Rahul, Agarwal, Gayle, Pooran, Maxwell, Hooda, Neesham, M Ashwin, Bishnoi, Shami, Arshdeep
Sunrisers still a mess
Sunrisers are also still alive in the play-off hunt and also like Kings there is little to be impressed by. Their tactics and selection has been a mess from game one.
David Warner, up and down the order like a yo-yo, has not been doing his job as a blaster at the top of the order so the answer? Drop Kane Williamson, who has been striking in the 140s, for Jason Holder. Go figure.
The tough call is to say to Warner or Jonny Bairstow to sit out and bring in more middle-order power in Mohammad Nabi. They know this and have been told this. But they won't do it.
Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar got them home in the chase against Rajasthan last time out but both have had disappointing seasons. It would be a surprise if they had suddenly morphed into match-winners. Surrounded by Nabi or Samad, they could be useful but not at Nos 3 and 4 long term.
Probable XI Warner, Bairstow, Pandey, Shankar, Garg, Samad, Rashid, Sandeep, Natarajan, Nadeem.
2020 SRH 201-6 (Bairstow 97) defended KP 132 (Pooran 77, Rashid 3-12)
2019 SRH 212-6 (Warner 81, Shami 2-36) defended KP 167-8 (Rahul 79, Rashid 3-21)
KP 151-4 (Rahul 71*) chased SRH 150-4 (Warner 70*, Sandeep 2-21)
Overall SRH 11 KP 4
The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second, most recent first) at Dubai read: 154-2/164-2/176-t/177-na/161-1/167-1/158-2/169-1/201-1/196-1/178-2/164-1/174-1/201-t/175-1/206-1/163-1/157-t. As predicted we are now seeing a drop off in runscoring and the smart money is going low on first-innings runs markets. You'll have to pay a bit higher for a lay of 150 or more but the risk should be manageable. Ordinarily we like to take on Kings bowling first in the last three overs as they leak runs alarmingly. But Sunrisers are not quick scorers at the death so we will swerve this time.
Kings can start well
At the moment the match odds market is struggling to split the pair. Kings are 1.855/6 and Sunrisers 1.9520/21. The prospect of backing either at sub 2.001/1 frightens the life out of us. These are two poor sides.
The best option, therefore, is a trade if Kings bowl first. We know Sunrisers are loaded up top with their best players so if cheap wickets fall - a Kings strength - there should be a strong reaction on the market for an in-out profit.
Bairstow and Warner are both overdue a top-bat win so the former will prove popular at a price-enhanced 3/1 with Betfair Sportsbook. Warner is 23/10 and the Aussies has a very strong portents on the numbers for runs. The 8/1 man of the match also has appeal.
The data likes Sandeep Sharma for top Sunrisers bowler at 4/1 although Rashid Khan's excellent recent head-to-head record will see many tempted by Sportsbook's boosted 9/5.
Saturday's IPL matches previewed on Cricket...Only Bettor
Ed Hawkins IPL P-L
Trade Kings bowling first 1.9520/21 to 1.608/13