IPL 2014 betting preview
The seventh season of the Indian Premier League, the world's richest Twenty20 cricket competition, gets underway on April 16th with a match between the defending champions Mumbai and the 2012 winners Kolkata, who are the outsiders for this year's tournament.
The team with the best record in the previous six editions is Chennai, who were the winners in both 2010 and 2011 and runners-up in each of the last two years. The Super Kings are once again the market leaders at a best price of 9/2 with BetVictor, Stan James, Paddy Power, Coral and William Hill.
Skippered by the talented Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Super Kings have plenty of quality in their ranks including 13 other players who have played international Twenty20 cricket. They include batsmen Suresh Raina and Francois du Plessis, West Indian all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith, New Zealand's Brendon McCullum and Australian bowler Ben Hilfenhaus.
Also being well backed to take their first title are the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who have finished fifth in each of the last two years but have assembled a strong squad. Batsman Virat Kohli shone at the recent World Twenty20, scoring almost a hundred runs more than any other player, while no player is more explosive than an in-form Chris Gayle.
Throw into the mix AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh and Albie Morkel - one of Chennai's leading wicket-takers in this competition over the years - and they have a powerful line-up which stands an excellent chance of reaching a third final and possibly of going all the way. Several firms have them in the book at 4/1 but Stan James are still offering 5/1 and that is our selection.
The same best price is on offer for Mumbai as they bid for a successful title defence and their line-up promises plenty of runs from Mike Hussey and Rohit Sharma, who performed well for India in Bangladesh in the last few weeks. In Lasith Malinga they also boast a potent bowling threat. Strength in depth may be an issue though.
Hyderabad Sunrisers, who finished fourth in their first season in the competition last year, are a best price of 6/1 with Sky Bet, BetVictor and Paddy Power. Amit Mishra and Dale Steyn promise plenty of wickets while Australia's David Warner is the prominent name among their batting line-up.
The Delhi Daredevils will be the focus of much media attention having snapped up Kevin Pietersen in the auction, but they have never reached a final in six attempts and look a little light in the bowling department. JP Duminy and Ross Taylor do add to the menace of their batting however.
The Kings XI Punjab, who have also never reached a final, will be hoping Mitchell Johnson brings his A game from the Ashes having made him their second highest paid player after South African batsman David Miller. Much will depend on those two.
At best odds of 9/1 with Bet365 are the Rajasthan Royals, the first ever winners of the IPL, who have spent big on captain Shane Watson and fellow Australian James Faulkner but don’t look to have the strongest bowling attack.
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||To Win Outright