The Indian Premier League begins on Saturday. It is the most eagerly-awaited franchise tournament of all, and even though the Big Bash in Australia probably trumps it for quality these days nothing matches it for glamour or hype. Bet on each match at BMR’s green-listed bookmakers.
Still, rationale thought is the roadblock to profit and the first conundrum we have to wrestle with is the fitness of Chris Lynn, the Australia blitzer. This is a routine pondering because issues with his shoulder seem to crop up for every tournament he is involved with. If Lynn can stay fit, then he should have very little to beat to cop as Kolkata Knight Riders top runscorer at +150 with William Hill.
Not much of a price? Maybe not, but Lynn is in a different league to his team-mates in terms of fast scoring. He has a phenomenal strike rate of 148.3. To put that into context only Kings XI’s Chris Gayle (148.9) and Rajasthan’s Darcy Short (150) of other IPL openers trump him.
Lynn, therefore will not have to bat for long to take honours. And as we said, we’re not worried about his ability to score runs, it’s his ability to stay fit which will down the bet. But there’s good news on that front.
After suffering a dislocated shoulder in the tri-series between Australia, New Zealand and England, Lynn has been batting in full flow in the nets at Eden Gardens. He has been wearing a specially-designed shoulder stabiliser to help keep him on track. If Lynn was to suffer a setback, we don’t expect a huge amount of movement in the price of Andre Russell to top scorer in his absence. Currently he is +1600 with William Hill.
Ordinarily, Russell is irrelevant on this market because batting at No. 6 or lower means he just won’t get the crease time to usurp a specialist like Lynn at the top of the run charts. So, his odds are one for the notebook at the tournament progresses.
Kolkata without Lynn might, just might, consider using Russell as a pinch-hitter in the top two. And that brings him into play because his strike rate of 164 is the second-highest of all time. Only Colin de Grandhomme, the muscle-bound Kiwi, can do better.
With the ball, Sunil Narine is +275 (William Hill) for Kolkata as top wicket-taker. As good as the spinner has been down the years, we urge you not to get sucked in. Narine has been suspended for an illegal action so his effectiveness will surely be reduced.
Kuldeep Yadav at +333 is a fantastic price and it is fair to describe him as the coming man in spin in T20.