There’s a double dose of Indian Premier League action this Good Friday with tournament favourites Chennai getting their campaign underway against the Kings XI and last year’s surprise package Hyderabad facing Rajasthan.
Below are previews of both matches with the Ladbrokes News team predicting wins for both the Super Kings and the Sunrisers in a double paying out at odds of just under 3/1.
The tried and tested two-time title winning Super Kings face a new look Kings XI side in what looks on paper an exciting IPL clash.
Chennai, who have been plagued by off-field issues, will be looking to make a fast start to the new campaign on the field as they bid to continue their record of reaching the play-offs in every season of the IPL.
They may have lost last year’s Orange Cap winner Michael Hussey but they did have a good auction, picking up openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith, who gave the Mumbai Indians a number of solid starts last year.
The West Indian, who partnered Chris Gayle for his country in the World Twenty20, could slot straight into the Chennai side at the top of the order and he could prove good value at 4/1 with a three run head start in the batsman handicap market.
Hussey’s departure should open up more opportunities for South Africa T20 captain Faf du Plessis in what looks an exciting batting line up, including Dwayne Bravo, captain MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
But the Super Kings face a tricky test against a Kings XI side who revamped their whole roster in the off season, acquiring George Bailey, Glen Maxwell, David Miller, Virender Sehwag and Mitchell Johnson.
The steal of the auction could prove to be former Indian international Sehwag and at 5/6 he looks good to score over 19.5 runs.
In the match betting market Chennai could just prove too strong for a Kings XI, who are 6/5 for victory, that might take a few games to settle into this tournament.
The Super Kings are a settled team and under the guidance of Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming they are backed at 4/6 to get our double off to a winning start.
In the second match of the day Hyderabad face Rajasthan in a battle of the surprise packages.
The Sunrisers shocked everyone last year as they reached the play-offs before eventually losing to the Royals in the eliminator match.
And with Indian international Shikhar Dhawan and powerful Australian hitters Aaron Finch and David Warner at the top of the order this year they could go far once again.
The Sunrisers are not top heavy but with arguably the best finisher in world cricket, Darren Sammy, coming in down the order and excellent fast bowling options in Ishant Sharma and Dale Steyn making them an excellent all-round side.
However, Rajasthan like a shock of their own, winning the inaugural IPL and reaching the play-offs last year when their chances are being written off.
This year they have an Australian backbone with Shane Watson as captain and the experienced Brad Hodge and unorthodox Steve Smith providing excellent back up.
But we are just siding with this impressive looking Sunrisers side, who should prove to have enough quality to land this 3/1 IPL double.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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