Lucknow Super Giants v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Tuesday April 19th, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Lucknow looking up

We shouldn’t be surprised that the new teams are heading the early table. The structure of the auction means that Lucknow and Gujarat are able to assemble some of the best talent and they’ll be looking to emulate the short-lived Rising Pune franchise that reached an IPL final.

In the case of Lucknow Super Giants, they are led by regular Orange Cap contender KL Rahul and have been able to acquire some experienced talent including Quinton De Kock, Marcus Stoinis, Krunal Pandya, Ravi Bishnoi and Manish Pandey.

Rahul passed three figures against Mumbai last time out and, with Ayush Badoni enjoying a breakthrough tournament, there is depth to the batting. Stoinis adds options to a six-man bowling attack and Lucknow have the quality to go beyond the regular season.

RCB keeping in touch

Victory over Delhi on Saturday keeps Royal Challengers Bangalore in touch with the playoffs. Virat Kohli failed once again but runs from Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell helped RCB compile a winning total of 189/5.

Karthik is proving to be the bargain buy of IPL 15, scoring quickly at the death and adding his tidy wicket keeping into the mix. It’s also comforting to see Maxwell make a contribution, but Bangalore will need Kohli and Faf Du Plessis back in form.

Some of the bowlers were expensive against the Capitals but the quality of Josh Hazlewood and Mohammed Siraj got them over the line. Consistency remains the issue for this talented RCB squad.

Navigate to Navi Mumbai

The DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai takes on hosting duties for Tuesday’s game. Ten previous matches have been played here and the average first innings score comes in at 171. Six of the games have gone to the chasing side while the remaining four have been won by the team taking first knock.

Both sides have played here before at IPL 15 and Lucknow have the better record with two wins from two. Royal Challengers have one win and two defeats from their three visits.

While there has been no great advantage to the chasing team, it’s likely to be a day for inserting the opposition but the fielding side will want to restrict to around 160 or fewer.

Both teams are on eight points after six matches but the markets have come down in favour of RCB. The Royal Challengers lead the way at 1.8910/11 for the win while Lucknow Super Giants are relatively close behind at 2.0621/20.

It’s a tough call and it may be a day to focus on the side markets. If pushed to name a winner I’d get behind RCB but will only commit to one point. It was encouraging to see them ease past Delhi without any real contribution from Kohli or Du Plessis but both men need to fire moving forward.

Lucknow are a dangerous outside bet, but Bangalore’s greater collective experience might just be enough in a tight contest.

Like most of India, I’m waiting for Virat Kohli to fire at IPL 15. I’ve backed him in the previous two matches but it’s time to switch allegiance. Faf Du Plessis gave me plenty of profits during his time with CSK and the new Royal Challengers’ skipper looks a tempting option as 5/2 second favourite to top score for Bangalore.

After opening the competition with 88 from 57 balls, Faf has dipped but he’s rarely out of form for long. Other options for RCB’s top batter include Kohli at 12/5, Glenn Maxwell at 4/1, Anuj Rawat at 11/2 and Sherfane Rutherford at 7/1.

With KL Rahul in the runs, Quinton de Kock has taken a back seat to an extent, but I suspect he will be Lucknow’s biggest threat on Tuesday. De Kock at 11/4 to be the Super Giants’ top scorer looks a solid option if you want a third pick.

Alternatively, the #OddsOnThat section of the sportsbook has a number of QDK-related options. De Kock to hit a six, take a catch and a stumping is a serious tempter at 11/2.

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