Scoring getting harder at the DY Patil Stadium

Scoring getting harder at the DY Patil Stadium

Sunrisers Hyderabad v Gujarat Titans
Monday, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Sunrisers Hyderabad got off the mark with a win over fellow strugglers Chennai on Saturday, all but ending their title defence in the process. Today’s venue is the same but a harder task lies ahead. Gujurat Titans have a 100% win record in their short IPL history. Here are the line-ups, as forecasted by Cricinfo.

Hyderabad: 1 Abhishek Sharma, 2 Kane Williamson, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Aiden Markram, 6 Washington Sundar, 7 Abdul Samad, 8 Romario Shepherd, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Umran Malik/Shreyas Gopal, 11 T Natarajan

Gujarat: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Matthew Wade/Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 3 Vijay Shankar, 4 Abhinav Manohar, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 David Miller, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Darshan Nalkande, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Mohammed Shami

Such winning runs are hard to sustain in T20 franchise cricket, not least because the toss is such a critical variable. Without taking anything away from Gujurat’s achievement so far or believing Sunrisers have really turned a corner, pre-match odds of 1.748/11 are hardly tempting.

Williamson a liability for Sunrisers right now

Sunrisers urgently need Kane Williamson to find form. Their key batsman has managed just 50 runs from three innings at a pitiful 79.3 strike-rate. In this mood, the skipper is a liability, filling the critical opener’s role. Exactly as happened last year with David Warner, en route to finishing bottom.

Furthermore, they’re facing their biggest loss for the first time here, with Rashid Khan now at Titans. Whilst the Sunrisers bowlers did a good job on Saturday, that owed plenty to the conditions. Without Rashid, the absence of a strike bowler is glaring. Washington Sundar is doing a great job with the new ball but hardly represents a like-for-like replacement.

Titans bowling looks far superior

No doubt according to those line-ups, Gujarat look considerably superior. Rashid, Lockie Ferguson and Mohammed Shami form a formidable trio with the ball – all superior to any of the Sunrisers slate. Their latest victory was the best for my money, chasing down 190. Shubman Gill hit 96 and is now second on the overall runscorer list, with a game in hand of the leader.

Where I would question Titans is their back-up if Gill doesn’t perform. Vijay Shankar is a liability – his strike-rate so far is even slower than Williamson, at 65.4 – and Matthew Wade remains unproven in IPL. Despite a powerful middle-order led by Hardik Pandya, this isn’t a side I’d rely on to get big runs.

Back unders on runs and sixes lines

As the trends are panning out, big runs may not be necessary at the DY Patil Stadium. After 190-plus totals from the first three games here, the last three were sub-170, the last two sub-160. From 27 sixes in the first game and 19 in their third, the last three were all below 12. Four of the six matches went to the chaser and one of the reversals was a morning match, so dew wasn’t a factor.

Boundaries looked particularly hard work on Saturday, so ‘Unders’ may well be the way forward from now. The par 1st Innings Runs line was around 175, with 160 or more trading at 1.42/5. My guesstimate is that we’ll be able to lay the latter at around 1.51/2. Take anything up to 1.574/7 and for the band below, 150 or more, lay at around 1.330/100.

Also, on the Total Sixes line, try 10 or fewer at around 3.55/2.

In-form openers appeal for top bat honours

The two #OddsBoost batsmen are Kane Williamson and Shubman Gill, who are enhanced to 5/2 and 16/5 respectively for Top Team Runscorer. For reasons discussed above, Williamson represents atrocious value at these odds.

Alternatively, the odds for Gill are generous given his form and position as opener, in what could well be a low-scoring match.

Likewise, Abhishek Sharma represents clear value at 9/2 in the Sunrisers market. That’s too big for an opener, especially after hitting 75 on Saturday.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty