The IPL got underway back at the end of March, and the richest cricket league in the world has already provided plenty of highlight moments. This preview is going to focus on matches taking place this week.
Here is a look at some of this week’s games with odds from BetXchange.
Delhi Capitals VS Gujarat Titans – Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi
When: Tuesday, April 4
The Capitals were beaten by 50 runs in their opener by the Luckow away from the Capital. They won the toss and put their hosts into bat, which turned out to be the wrong move as Kyle Mayers scored 73 off of 28 balls. The visitors could never get their run chase going, with even David Warner’s 56 coming from 48 balls, a run rate just too slow in the 20-over format.
The Titans are coming off of a winning start as they beat the Super Kings in Ahmedabad. They also fielded after winning the toss, holding the Super Kings to 178 from their 20 overs. The run chase did get tense, but they were able to run it down with four balls to spare, thanks (in part) to Shubman Gill’s 63.
Gill is certainly one to keep an eye on, and he is 26/10 to be the top batsman again here. He may only be 23, but his shot selection belies that age, and I think he is a solid pick. I also like Rashid Khan (3/1) as the top bowler. He took 2/26 in the opener, and the defending champions are the team I would back.
Rajasthan Royals VS Punjab Kings – Assam Cricket Association Stadium, Guwahati
When: Wednesday, April 5
This is a match between a pair of teams that won in their first outings in 2023. The Kings beat the Knight RIders via the Duckworth-Lewis-Smith method after their match was affected by late rain. The game star for them was Ashdep Singh – named Player of the Match – after he went 3/19 from his three overs of work.
The Royals were convincing winners in Round 1, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 72 runs. Put in to bat, they got outstanding contributions from the top of their order, with openers Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal hitting 54 each and No. 3 Sanju Samson clubbing 55.
Those three should all be in the race for top batsman again, as this is a team with strength all through their batting lineup. Buttler is the favorite at 5/2, and it is worth noting that his knock in the first game came from far fewer balls than Jaiswal and Samson.
Kolkata Knight Riders VS Royal Challengers Bangalore – Eden Gardens, Kolkata
When: Thursday, April 6
As mentioned above, the Knight Riders lost to the Kings, running out of time as the rain came in. They were 146/7 at the time, with 24 balls left to find 46 or more runs. Their issue was with the ball, only taking five wickets as they bowled first with none of their bowlers showing anything like reasonable economy.
In contrast, Royal Challengers Bangalore romped to an eight-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians in the final first-up match of the comp. Virat Kohli smashed an imperious unbeaten 82 from 49 balls as the RCB lost just two wickets in their chase of 171.
Kohli is the obvious choice to be the top batsman, but don’t forget about the equally impressive Faf du Plessis. He hit 73 from 43 balls opening alongside the Indian great and looks to have started the season in splendid form.