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Rajasthan Royals vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL best bets

 

2015 IPL

Match 22 – 8:00pm local time on Friday, April 24, 2015 at Ahmedabad

Rajasthan Royals – $1.90 at www.Bet365.com
Royal Challengers Bangalore $2.05 at Bovada

High-flying Rajasthan Royals will look to get back to winning ways on Friday when they play hosts to struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad – RR’s adopted home for the 2015 Indian Premier League season.

Shaun Marsh and Kings XI Punjab ended the Royals’ five-game unbeaten run on Tuesday, the Australian blasting three boundaries off the Super Over after both sides posted 191 in a thrilling encounter at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

Royals are still sitting pretty atop the IPL table, however, and even in defeat there were a few positives for the 2008 champions – especially at the top of the order.

Shane Watson looks in very good touch after returning from a pre-season hip injury, with consecutive knocks of 74 and 45, while Ajinkya Rahane leads the IPL runscoring charts after notching his third half-century in as many games.

But Kings XI exposed a Royals bowling attack that relies heavily on all-rounders, and there must be serious questions now regarding James Faulkner’s place in the team.

Having started the 2015 IPL season with a bang, Australia’s World Cup hero has managed only one wicket and 30 runs all up in Rajasthan’s last five games.

That wretched run of form may see New Zealand swing bowler Tim Southee – who was edged out of the side upon Watson’s return – reprise his role as one of the four eligible overseas player.

Another option would be South African seamer Rusty Theron, who has yet to feature since moving to Rajasthan this year, while 21-year-old leg spinner Rahul Tewatia could make way for the tricky medium pace of Dhawal Kulkarni.

Coach Paddy Upton will also want more from the likes of Steven Smith (13, 6 and 0 in his last three knocks) against an RCB outfit which now has its most lethal weapon back in action.

Mitchell Starc claimed match figures of 1 for 24 in his first start for the season on Wednesday, but even the top wicket-taker at the 2015 Cricket World Cup couldn’t conquer the in-form Chennai Super Kings.

It was the Challengers batsmen who struggled most, though, falling well short of the required run rate as CSK’s Ashish Nehra sliced through the top order with 4 for 10.

Not only was Virat Kohli the only RCB bat to pass 25 in that match, his 51 was also the team’s first half-century since Chris Gayle blasted 96 in the opening round.

It is hardly surprising, then, that Royal Challengers sit dead last in the IPL standings with two points (although they have played at least one game fewer than the rest of the competition).

Starc’s return has certainly lifted expectations, however, as the early bookmakers odds have Bangalore dead level with Royals in the head-to-head betting markets.

Closer analysis shows the Bangalore bowling attack is actually in decent form. Yuzvendra Chahal and David Wiese have emerged as key performers, with 15 IPL wickets between them this season, while Harshal Patel (1 for 28) and Iqbal Abdulla (2 for 36) were more than useful against Chennai.

Probably the biggest question for RCB coach Daniel Vettori and the selection panel is whether to recall the out-of-favour Gayle, or whether to persist with Manvinder Bisla at the top of the order.

The West Indian opener hasn’t played since his very sluggish performance in the loss to Mumbai Indians, but so-so scores of 20 and 17 from Bisla mean the spot is certainly still up for grabs.

Possible team selections

Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Stuart Binny, Chris Morris, Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Manvinder Bisla, Rilee Rossouw, Dinesh Karthik, AB de Villiers, Sarfraz Khan, David Wiese, Harshal Patel, Mitchell Starc, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal

Match predictions

Result – Rajasthan Royals to win ($1.90 at Bet365.com)
Highest opening partnership Rajasthan Royals ($1.80 at Bet365)
Highest first six overs – Rajasthan Royals ($1.90 at Bet365)

Perhaps it’s down to lack of a genuine home field advantage, but the match odds here are awfully tight considering the two teams’ respective records. We think $1.90 is super value for a team with five wins from six, especially as RR’s only loss came in a tiebreaker. Also get on the in-form pair of Rahane and Watson to outplay their opposite numbers in the early overs.

IPL betting for top team batsman

Rajasthan Royals – Ajinkya Rahane ($3.25 at Bodog.com)

With consecutive innings of 47, 46, 62, 76* and 74, Rahane is the form batsman in IPL 2015. If you don’t fancy the Indian star to make it four half-tons on the trot, though, the Aussie duo of Watson ($4.00 at Bovada) and Smith ($5.00 at Bet365) are pretty good value.

Royal Challengers Bangalore – AB de Villiers ($4.33 at Bovada)

The South African superstar has been in reasonable touch without quite producing that match-winning knock, so you get the feeling a big one is not far away. He’s offering slightly juicier odds than Kohli ($3.75) and seems a more reliable bet than Rossouw ($6.00), while Gayle ($3.75) is no certainty to play.

Best odds for top team bowler

Rajasthan Royals – Pravin Tambe ($4.00 at Bet365.com)

At the tender age of 43, Tambe’s consistency and energy have seen him become an indispensable asset in a star-studded Royals squad. The veteran leggy doesn’t take big bags of wickets, but he’ll keep it tight and jag one or two. Southee ($4.50) and Kulkarni ($5.00) are also good shouts, if they get a run.

Royal Challengers Bangalore – Mitchell Starc ($3.10 at Bet 365)

Despite the recent form of Chahal ($4.00), you can’t look past a man who took 21 wickets at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. Starc looked good in his first IPL T20 match of the season earlier this week, and he’ll be better for that run when he heads to Ahmedabad on Friday.

More Indian Premier League games this week

Saturday, April 25
Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab

Sunday, April 26
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals
Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.


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