Take advantage of Dhawan boost

Ed Hawkins finds two openers to support in the Capitals-Knight Riders clash in Thursday’s IPL…

Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders
Thursday 29 April, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Top Delhi bat

It could be time to get involved with Shikhar Dhawan again for a top-bat wager. Sportsbook have very kindly price-boosted a man who has top scored in three of Delhi’s six matches and has an overall win rate of 30.7% in the last four editions.

So why is he available at 10/3, handing over more than seven points on implied probability? Perhaps the Sportsbook brains reckon that his race has run and he will enter the sort of dip that has characterised his tournament performances. It’s feast or famine with Dhawan.

It could be – although we doubt it – that they reckon Pat Cummins has his number. It is true. But only in the context of what Dhawan has done to the other Knight Riders bowlers. Cummins has got him out once with Dhawan striking at 126. Against Prasid Krishna (strike rate of 162), Andre Russell (165), Shakib-al-Hasan (180) and Lockie Ferguson (200) he has been murderous.

Indeed, we’d be more worried about Sunil Narine and Shivam Mavi keeping him down. Both have kept him in the 90s in terms of strike rate. The price boost and Dhawan’s record on win rates suggests he’s worth a risk, however. He’s also recommended in our main match preview.

We’ll also add a speculative small-stakes wager on Lalit Yadav at 22s. He is unlikely to play but if he does it should be in the top six. He has a fine record domestically as a batter of intent.

Top KKR bat

We’ve twice wagered Nitish Rana for top Kolkata bat in their last two games. Twice we have lost. Sportsbook go 10/3. Do we go in again?

It is five in 11 wins as an opener for Rana. It is true that sort of hit rate (albeit a small study sample) is unlikely to continue but if we stick to the mantra of ‘take wrong prices’ then we should hold our nerve.

But it is interesting what happens psychologically when pondering going in for a third time. You start to look for a reason to swerve. For example, according to the data scientists, Rana has an issue against high pace. So surely against Messrs Rabada, Avesh and Ishant he is to be avoided?

Well, you’d think. The issue is that Rana took two half-centuries off Delhi last term so it doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny. The Delhi attack comprised Rabada and Nortje in those games.

Are Mumbai on the slide? This week on Cricket…Only Bettor