The second half of the double header in the Indian Premier League comes from Jaipur on Sunday afternoon where the Rajasthan Royals and the Mumbai Indians look to revive their campaigns and avoid getting cut adrift from the leading pack.
Both sides will have fancied their chances heading into the tournament but so far both have been flops really. A win here will allow the victors to cling onto the leading pack though and revive their qualification hopes.
When you spend the money that the Rajasthan Royals shelled out in the auction you need to be delivering a better return than two wins from five matches and sixth place in the table. In fairness to them one of their big money signings in Jofra Archer has yet to lace his boots due to injury but that is still no excuse for their poor return.
The Royals have a couple of issues. Their seamers are going around the park far too easily and too often and then their batting line up looks all over the place. They have now gone down the route of changing the personnel but it is surely the order that needs to be fine-tuned. They need an opening partnership that will lay a platform for their big hitters to power from.
There is an air of inevitability and déjà vu about this Mumbai Indians side. Once again they have begun the season slowly as they look to find their best combinations but an emphatic win in their last match should have kicked them into life and I doubt anyone will be too surprised if they were to launch a consistent winning run now.
Strangely it has been the batting line up that has needed to be sorted out this season but Rohit Sharma fired in the middle order in the last match and that was important. If they can just find an opening partner for Evin Lewis then there is plenty to be optimistic about where the defending champions are concerned.
It remains to be seen whether Jofra Archer is yet fit to play in the match. If he is then he surely had to come in for Ben Laughlin who just hasn’t offered enough. Even if Archer isn’t fit then Ish Sodhi would be a good option if he is available.
Mumbai Indians may have had a concern over wicket keeper Ishan Kishan after his savage hit to the eye in the previous match but he was seen training on the eve of the contest which may see the defending champions being unchanged.
We have two unsettled sides in action here but I fancy the innings from Rohit Sharma last time out should settle the Mumbai Indians down a little more however they are plenty short enough here especially when we factor in how well Rajasthan Royals tend to play on this ground.
With that in mind I’ll head to the side markets for a punt in this one where the runs line of Evin Lewis looks too low to me at 24.5. We’ve seen already in this tournament that there is plenty of pace and bounce in the strip in Jaipur and they are conditions the Caribbean opener usually relishes. He took a game to adjust to the competition but since then he has scores of 29, 48 and 65 and looks to be getting better. An opener has passed this in every 20 over innings Rajasthan has bowled this season and I expect Lewis to as well.
Back E.Lewis – Over 24.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365