BestofBets IPL preview
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Titans (Thursday, May 19)
You can’t conjure up a name like Gujarat Titans if you’re not going to produce special performances and the table toppers have done just that in a blistering campaign so far.
GT have won an incredible 10 of their 13 games to move clear of the chasing pack going into the closing stages and are assured top spot prior to the play-offs.
The most consistent team in the 2022 IPL, they are warm favourites to make it win number 11 when they face Royal Challengers Bangalore in Thursday’s Indian Premier League clash.
Even at that, they have shown that they are not infallible, their hammering at the hands of the Punjab Kings, by eight wickets and with four overs to spare, showing that even they can endure a ‘stinker’.
Perhaps there was a hangover from that when, in their next match, they also suffered at the hands of Mumbai Indians, losing by five runs. Since then, they’ve been very much ‘back on the horse’.
Lucknow Super Giants were swept aside, being skittled for an embarrassing 82 to suffer a 62-run defeat last week. Then a wonderfully smooth 67 not out in 57 balls by Wriddhiman Saha becalmed their opponents and ensured they cruised home by seven wickets against Chennai Super Kings last time out.
Having won the previous fixture between these two this season by six wickets, GT should prove very tough to beat for an inconsistent RCB, who have failed to fulfil their potential thus far, winning seven and losing six of their 13 games.
For the Royal Challengers, this is a must-win match. Lose and they will go home. Win and will have an anxious wait to see if Mumbai Indians can do them a favour and beat Delhi Capitals in their final match on Saturday.
I expect the table toppers to underline their quality and I can’t believe bet365 have them trading at 10/11 to win. That is cracking value and I’d advise you to avail yourself of it as soon as you can.
The mesmeric Rashid Khan should have a major part to play with the ball and, at 13/5, he should be back to be GT’s top bowler. He has already ripped through a couple of teams this season and he is the last bowler that any under pressure RCB batsman will want to face in this match.
If RCB are to win then star names such as Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli will need to come to the party with the bat. Du Plessis could get his team off to a flyer before they are pegged back by Khan, so I’m taking him to be RCB’s top batter at 5/2.
However, as I am anticipating a win for Gujarat, I think we should look to them for a Player of the Match performance and, should Rashid Khan do the business with the ball, the 10/1 about him being the match’s top performer looks worth a little interest too.
I’m also with Hardik Pandya, who has scored three half centuries for Gujarat, to come good again after a quiet spell. He is took good to keep down for long and the 4/1 with bet365 about him being their top batter like value to me.
As always, the best of luck with your wagers.