With the IPL prelims out of the way, it is semi final time. The 11-2 Royals taking on the 7-1-6 Dehli Daredevils.
The Daredevils come into this match, having scraped into the final 4 - denying preseason darlings the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings in the final week. Whilst much has been made of the Daredevils being a lucky finalist given the clearly superior Indians lineup; the runs are on the board. The Royals have seldom looked like anything but the best team in the comp. This flies in the face of preseason pundits who had this team as close to the worst in the competition.
The Daredevils boast one thing in abundance: Strikepower at the top of the order. In Sehwag and Gambhir at the top of the order, this must be considered a strength for the Daredevils. Both will definitely handle the conditions - another plus. As good as Sehwag is to watch, the Professor's tip is that it will not be long until we declare that the best batsman in the world is: Gautam Gambhir. Handles all conditions with ease. Looks poised. Hits all over the wicket. Will take Tendulkars mantle very soon. The Daredevils bowling is off and on. The Maharoof is on fire a potential key here.
The Royals, who have made it clear will do this without Australian hero Darren Lehmann, will come into this game as deserved favourites. Led by the unbelievably effective 20-20 stylings of Graemi Smith and Shane Watson with the bat and the bowling of the unhearalded Tanvir and the genius of Shane Warne with the ball - this team was built for 20-20. Can we see the pirate superstar Dimitri Mascarenhas tonight?? That's the big hope at WHAB HQ. In short, a team without the massively big names of other franchises (at least in quantity), but with massive ability.
How Shane Warne never captained Australia is beyond me.
Take the $1.72 on the Royals if you are betting.