A stern battle between one of the best bowling attacks against a power-packed batting unit is in the making at the Brabourne Stadium. Punjab Kings (PBKS) will face the only undefeated side in the Indian Premier League (IPL) so far in the form of Gujarat Titans.
Punjab Kings (PBKS)
After beginning their tournament on a bright note, Punjab Kings faltered against KKR but put up a spirited all-round display against CSK to return back to winning ways.
Mayank Agarwal’s patchy form bodes a slight form of concern, but a bigger concern awaits in the form of a selection headache. With Kagiso Rabada and Liam Livingstone cementing their place in the playing XI, one of the in-form Bhanuka Rajapaksa or Odean Smith will have to pave the way for Jonny Bairstow.
Shahrukh Khan will also have to step up after coming into the mix with a huge price tag. While the batting-friendly conditions at the Brabourne are a perfect match for their brand of cricket, they will have to oust a robust Gujarat Titans bowling unit.
Batting after the powerplay has been far from perfect after the first game which makes Rashid Khan’s four-over spell a pretty long ordeal to go through.
Gujarat Titans (GT)
Hardik Pandya has been off to a perfect start as captain of the Gujarat Titans. With one successful chase and one target defence under their belt, a lot of their success has to do with their bowling unit.
The trio of Mohammad Shami, Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan have complemented each other very well. The fact that Hardik Pandya has bowled his full quota of overs without any difficulties, is also a major positive to take. The presence of extra options like Vijay Shankar and Rahul Tewatia proves their versatility as well apart from prowess.
However, the poor form of Vijay Shankar, as well as Matthew Wade, has brought a lot of pressure. It has been up to the skipper himself to absorb the pressure at No.4 for the side.
Negotiating the overs Kagiso Rabada and Rahul Chahar upfront and in the middle overs would be key for the batting unit to put pressure on their opposition counterparts.
WAGING ODDS: PBKS (1.85) VS GT (1.95)
PBKS are the favorites and are priced at 1.85, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹185.
GT are the underdogs and priced at 1.95, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹195.
This is as close as the odds get. The layer of invincibility around GT, despite being early into the tournament is a major factor. However, with the conditions being more favorable to the brand of PBKS’ cricket as well as the personnel they have make them slight favorites. As a result, PBKS are expected to win this contest and hand GT their first loss in the IPL.
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