Chennai Super Kings, once the team to beat in IPL and alongside Perth Scorchers rated as one of the best T20 sides ever (short history admittedly), are back in the old groove after an astonishing win over Mumbai Indians in their opener on Saturday.
The Super Kings, named after a fag packet, looked wheezy and about to croak with 49 more needed in the 17th over with only two wickets left. But Dwayne Bravo, fashioning the greatest comeback since Jesus Christ, smashed the home bowling to take an unlikely win.
So they will be a warm order to beat Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday. The Knight Riders are 1-0 themselves thanks to a cosy win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The bookies are struggling to split the pair – as is their wont in early days of such a tournament. Chennai are 10-11 with Skybet and KKR are even money all over the high street firms.
Its not a huge amount of fun to be backing either team at such odds, particularly because there is a 60 per cent bias for the team batting first. Instead well try to find a winner from one of the side markets.
That bias is down to the glue-like nature of the wicket. Its difficult for batsmen to swing through the line with confidence. Instead it could be a stop-start affair with the ball getting held up and taking bite and turn for the spinners.
Indian Premier League 2018 odds
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 9/2
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 9/2
Mumbai Indians: 9/2
Rajasthan Royals: 5/1
Kolkata Knight Riders: 11/2
Kings XI Punjab: 6/1
Chennai Super Kings: 7/1
Delhi Daredevils: 10/1
Like the ball then, the pitch gives us something to latch onto. With the twirlers to the fore getting with them on the top bowler markets seems a shrewd call.
First up, Imran Tahir, the excellent South African wrist spinner, looks a fair favourite at 10-3 with Bet365. Chennai signed him as part of a plan to make the most of their difficult home wicket.
He does have competition in the shape of Harbjahan Singh (7-2 with bet365 and Boylesports) and Ravi Jadeja (4-1 Bet365) but he is the more attacking of the three.
For Kolkata, we are happy to get with Kuldeep Yadav, the India international who has replaced Jadeja in the national team. Kuldeep is a class act and he should be the favourite here instead of Sunil Narine. Kuldeep gets a 10-3 quote with Boylesports.