It’s IPL time and as usual, we have our picks, which we do not just presume or think would go on to win but on statistical backing, predict it to beat others for the win. This time around too, you shouldn’t be far behind your friends with three bets from SRH’s opener, which could make you rich.
David Warner to be Sunrisers Hyderabad’s top batsman @2.58
Last three games - 2, 17, 85
H2H - 47, 36
Against KKR - 616 runs @47.38
The first bet that we safely cross off is that David Warner is key to Sunrisers’ chances of winning the IPL, forget winning, even doing well. So saying that he is a real backbone of this Orange batting unit is an understatement, given he has been doing it day in and day out. Against the Knight Riders in the past editions, Warner has racked up 616 runs, which also comes as the highest in the fixture for players from both sides, with a high score of 126 and an average of 47.38 against the Men in Purple and Gold. Last season, against KKR, in the two games - Warner had scores - of 47 and 36. If you go a season before that, in Indian conditions, the left-hander had scores of 67 and 85, which in all signifies how important he is to the team’s scoring rate. Now the major point of focus, last season, with the franchise breaking the Bairstow-Warner partnership at the top of the order, the impetus is more on Warner to take the mantle of the scoring for the franchise and he has taken all challenges excellently. And if you are following the franchise one bit, Warner’s influence shouldn’t come as a surprise, which is why at 2.58x returns, you are the one running away with a win.
Rashid Khan to be Sunrisers Hyderabad’s top bowler @2.98
Last three games - 1/26, 0/22, 1/32
Venue statistics - 58.42% wickets taken by spinners
If the first one was a no-brainer, this one needs no introduction nor question, just pick Rashid Khan as everything, even as the President, if you ask me, he’s that talented. Apart from the jokes, Rashid Khan has been Sunrisers Most Valuable Player in the past two seasons, even more than Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. Since 2017, Rashid has accounted for 75 wickets, at an impressive average of 20.5 and a strike rate of 19.7. Forget 2017, last year alone, Rashid, statistically was the joint highest wicket taker for spinners with 20 wickets alongside Yuzvendra Chahal. Now he hasn’t played a whole lot of cricket against KKR but the Knight Riders, who possess plenty of right-handers in the top-order, would be a prime opportunity for the leg-spinner to increase his tally. Not just that, he has picked up his nine wickets, at an average of 29, which is contrasting to his career numbers but with the venue being Chennai, you shouldn’t look elsewhere. 52 wickets have been taken by spinners at the venue in Chennai, which roughly accounts for 58.42% of the wickets at the venue, so beat math on that one. If you do a fair amount of math, you would immediately equate Rashid to be nearly 3x dangerous in this fixture and that’s what exactly the heading reads.
KKR to score most fours @2.02
Don’t get me wrong, this is the riskiest of bets, for Kolkata Knight Riders are the most errr, weird team when it comes to tactics. Last year, they had their batsmen all over the batting order, none understandable really but this time around? If 2019 IPL is suggestive of anything, KKR are a team that relies on their boundary shots. In 2019, 66% of their runs from the season came via boundaries, 1638 runs to be more specific. But last year, across the board - in powerplay and middle-overs - KKR were consistently there, seventh on the table in terms of boundaries scored. So by that terms, they clearly aren’t the most favourites to run away with this bet but hear me out. Last season was their star-striker Andre Russell and skipper Dinesh Karthik’s worst season with the bat. But even then, at the death they scored 65 boundaries on top of the 58 they scored in the middle-overs. On the other hand, SRH, who possess one of the best batting orders only scored 55 and 64 boundaries during the same time, which shows that KKR are well ahead of SRH in terms of boundaries scored. However, come to powerplay, SRH have scored 16 boundaries more than KKR but that’s where a lot of variables come into play. Last season, until the final stage of the tournament, KKR were busy finding their best combination at the top of the order but once they found out, expect the same this season, right from the first game of the tournament.