It's a huge game with the loser bowing out but in a tough heat to call, go with the champion bowler to show his class at a decent price, says Jamie Pacheco.
"This may be one of the more obvious tips you’ll see but there’s nothing wrong with a 5/2 chance that really does have very chance."
Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians
Tuesday October 5, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports Cricket
Royals are up against it
Hands up if you thought that with two games to go of the Group Stages, Mumbai would be second from bottom. No, I didn't either.
A weekend defeat to Delhi, where the Indians failed to post a decent score but fought back admirably with the ball, has left them fighting for their lives.
It's not impossible. They could win this match against a Rajasthan side that blows hot and cold and could then look to beat SRH, the worst side in the competition, comfortably. That would give them two more wins and 14 points, with a better run rate and give them a shot.
But for that to go to plan they'd probably need KKR to lose to the Royals and the Punjab Kings to lose to CSK. As we said, it's not impossible. But it will be very hard indeed.
There isn't just one area where they've been lacking, there are several. Just as examples, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock seldom got them off to good starts and the balance was never quite right with Hardik Pandya playing solely as a batsman. But there are plenty more.
Likely Mumbai XI: de Kock, Sharma, Yadav, Tiwary, Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Coulter-Nile, Yadav, Bumrah, Boult.
They're a strange side this lot.
They're probably the most unpredictable team out there.
I never thought they'd make the Playoffs and the fact that they're in almost exactly the same position as Mumbai (slightly better run rate) suggests they have it all to do.
But they have their moments. They were about 4.57/2 at the start of the chase against CSK, needing 190. But they made light work of that, remarkably winning with 15 balls to spare against the best side in the competition.
Key to their success was the intent. Openers Evin Lewis and Yashavi Jaiswal struck at 225 and 238 respectively for their 27 and 50, Shivam Dube came in and hit 64 off 42. It was an exercise in gambling as much as anything. They knew that just getting over the line wasn't going to be enough because of the net run rate, so it was all or nothing and this time it came off.
But will they be so confident if they're batting first this time?
Possible Indians XI: Lewis, Jaiswal, Samson, Dube, Philipps, Miller, Tewatia, Singh, Markande, Sakariya, Rahman.
First innings scores have been a bit all over the place in Dubai.
Here are the last four: 164, 149, 165 and 115. That last one was by SRH, who have been a disaster, so maybe that's one to put aside as an anomaly.
More to the point, all four of those were won by the chasers. Both sides will be desperate to win the toss and chase based on that bias. But both teams prefer chasing anyway.
Royals a good bet in the chase
Of all the fixtures on the calendar, this is one of the ones I must look out for. Why? Because the head to head record between these two makes for fascinating reading. Mumbai may be having a poor season this time round but they are by far the most successful side in the IPL. The Royals may have won that first-ever edition, but it's been pretty much heartbreak ever since.
Despite all that, it's just 12-11 in favour of Mumbai. Remarkably, the Royals have won five of the last seven and this despite Mumbai winning the last two editions of the IPL.
The plan is simple. We want to be with the chasing side. But we don't want to be with Mumbai at odds of say 1.6 post-toss, when they're about 1.7 now. The Royals are 2.35/4 pre-toss so we might be able to back them at about 2.111/10 knowing they're chasing. That's the best way to go about it.
You're in good hands with Bumrah
This may be one of the more obvious tips you'll see but there's nothing wrong with a 5/2 chance that really does have every chance.
If Mumbai don't make the Playoffs, it won't be Jasprit Bumrah's fault. He's taken 17 wickets in 12 games and is going at a very reasonable rate of just 7.59 an over.
Rahul Chahar, dropped for the previous game, has 13 wickets. Trent Boult has 12.
Then it's a big gap to Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya on five. The former rarely bowls, the latter has a strike rate of 38.6 compared to Bumrah's 16.58.
Bumrah has been particularly good since the restart. His last five games produced the following number of wickets: 2, 3, 3, 2 and 1.
So that's 11 out of 17 taken here in the UAE over the past five games, suggesting he likes it out here.
He may only have Boult to beat and 5/2 is fair enough given all that.
No fifty first up
With conditions tricky, we may just have another low-scoring game where 140-odd is about par. We've hinted at how teams have struggled to decide what they need and have often gone into panic mode when they feel they're not getting there.
So, it may be worth going with 'no' fifty scored in the first innings of the match.
The Royals found some heroes with the bat but have been inconsistent all season. As for Mumbai, there's no-one I'd currently fancy to get to score 50 if they bat first.
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JAMIE PACHECO'S 2021 IPL P/L
Wagered: 21 pts
Returned: 18.79 pts
P/L: -2.21 pts
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