All the eight teams in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) are yet to play more than half of their games. Only two teams – Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore – have played six games while the other six have played just five. Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings are at number one and two in the points table respectively with 4 wins from their five games. On the other hand, Delhi, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians have won three each.
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Rajasthan Royals are languishing at the seventh spot with just win from five while Royal Challengers Bangalore are at the bottom without any win in six games. Royal Challengers Bangalore have now equalled the record for the joint-worst start previously held by Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) in 2013. Royal Challengers’ latest defeat came against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
Asked to bat first, they could only manage to post a modest total of 149 for 8. The Royal Challengers were off to a shaky start and lost Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers with just 40 runs on the board. 26 runs later, Marcus Stoinis departed too before Virat Kohli and Moeen Ali took the score past the 100-run mark. However, Moeen could not last long either and left with his team reeling at 103 for 4.
Virat Kohli stayed till the 18th over but could not guide the Royal Challengers to a challenging total. The skipper top-scored for his team with 41 as Royal Challengers huffed and puffed to 149.
In reply, Delhi Capitals were off to a shaky start too and lost their experienced opener Shikhar Dhawan for a duck in the first over. However, before Royal Challengers could capitalise on the early wicket, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer added 69 runs in quick time to put Delhi on top. Shaw fell for 28 but Iyer went on to score a fine fifty as Delhi crossed the line with more than an over remaining.
With six defeats in as many games, the Royal Challengers will now need a miracle to progress to the playoffs. Only time will tell whether the Kohli-led side fares in the remainder of the season. There is still a a huge amount of cricket left in the league. However, it has not stopped betting company Bet365 from predicting the teams who would make it to the playoffs. The odd-setters at Bet365 look more than confident on which sides are out of the running already.
The betting company has placed an odd of 40-1 at Royal Challengers which clearly means they consider the three-time finalists to be out of the playoffs race. Rajasthan Royals, who will lose the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer towards the end of this IPL, have odds of 25-1.
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On the other hand, the strong starters Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad are all priced between 10/3 and 4/1.