Welcome to your essential guide to the 2022 IPL, the biggest annual domestic tournament on the cricket calendar for sports betting. After COVID-19 forced its suspension and eventual switch to the UAE last season, the IPL returns to India with two new franchises – Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans – making it a 10-team competition.
Those 10 teams are now split into two groups with each team playing 14 times in the group stages – home and away against teams in the same group plus once against four teams in the opposite group and twice against the one remaining team. It means that despite being drawn in different groups, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings – the two most successful teams in the IPL’s history with nine titles between them – will meet twice in the group stages.
The global pandemic has still had a hand in proceedings with Mumbai and Pune, separated by over 140km in the western Maharashtra state, hosting all of the games. Mumbai’s main Wankhede Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium will each stage 20 matches with the Brabourne Stadium and Pune’s MCA International Stadium getting 15 matches apiece.
First held in 2008, the IPL – Indian Premier League – has become the most popular and successful of the world’s T20 cricket tournaments despite Pakistani players not being picked since its opening season. While it has created new specialist short-form cricketers, especially attacking batters, it has made the calendar even more packed with some players reluctant to give up their lucrative contracts to play in Tests or one-day internationals.
Any thoughts that the IPL would be a short-lived fad were quickly dispelled, and the league appears to be growing in popularity. Combine that with global television coverage, and it is no surprise that bookmakers are keen to get in on the action with a wide range of odds and markets on offer.
As far as the matches themselves, the first six overs of each innings are powerplays with just two fielders allowed outside the 30-yard fielding circle. That makes batters who can clear the infield of vital importance in the early stages. After that initial six-over period, teams can have a maximum of five fielders outside the fielding circle and each team has a strategic timeout in each innings to discuss tactics for the rest of the innings, providing plenty of chance to take advantage of odds from the leading cricket betting sites.
The fast pace of T20 cricket lends itself to a huge variety of markets, especially in-play, and many of the best betting sites will offer these. As well as the obvious match winner and top bowler and batter markets (the former decided by wickets with runs conceded usually the tiebreaker although check the terms and conditions as this can vary depending on the bookmaker), you can bet on the number of runs scored in a specified period, and the number of runs the batting team will amass (usually an under/over market).
Other common in-play markets include method of next dismissal and next batter to depart. Offerings like number of boundaries will depend largely on the ground and even which pitch is being used as the position of the strip could make one boundary appetisingly short for big hitters. It is important to find out this information before getting involved.
It is even possible to bet on the outcome of specific balls with the options covering the number of runs scored, whether it’s a wide, no-ball, bye, leg-bye or a wicket.
Coach: Stephen Fleming; Captain: MS Dhoni
With four titles and five runner-up finishes, Chennai has a fair claim to be the strongest team in IPL history and come into this tournament as reigning champions. Captain MS Dhoni is now the wrong side of 40, but, given he wants to bow out at the Chepauk Stadium, this is likely not to be his swansong. The Super Kings also retained high-class all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali, as well as opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was the league’s highest run-scorer last season.
In the auction, Chennai picked up solid players rather than headline-grabbers, with the exception of Dwayne Bravo who is now 38. The departures of Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina leave big holes, although New Zealand trio Devon Conway, Adam Milne and Mitchell Santner, and South Africa all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, look good acquisitions. Plus look out for young all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar who starred in India’s U19 World Cup Trophy triumph in January before being accused of lying about his age.
Pre-tournament odds: 8/1
Coach: Ricky Ponting; Captain: Rishabh Pant
Delhi boast one of the strongest top orders in the league, with David Warner returning after his acrimonious departure from Sunrisers Hyderabad. But the Australian is set to miss the first handful of matches to attend Shane Warne’s state memorial service at the end of March.
When he returns, he will open with Prithvi Shaw, with T20 World Cup hero Mitchell Marsh and Pant likely coming in next. Pant and Shaw were retained along with South African Anrich Nortje and spinning all-rounder Axar Patel. The pace attack looks a little thin with Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman and potent all-rounder Shardul Thakur needing to support Nortje, who is currently nursing a hip injury that has kept him out of action since the T20 World Cup. They do look strong in the spin department, however, thanks to Axar and Kuldeep Yadav. Even without Warner in the early games, they are likely to be there or thereabouts.
Pre-tournament odds: 11/2
Coach: Ashish Nehra; Captain: Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Jason Roy and Shubman Gill were the four big-name players drafted by the Ahmedabad-based outfit in their first IPL auction. But England opener Roy opted to take an indefinite break from cricket at the start of March to spend time with his family after his second child was born in January.
Roy’s absence will be keenly felt, but the Titans did win something of a bidding war for Abhinav Sadarangani three months after the 27-year-old made his senior debut in the Syed Mushtaq Ali regional Indian T20 tournament. Gujarat will hope he can continue that form in the IPL with much depending on all-rounders Rahul Tewatia and Vijay Shankar, and big-hitting South African David Miller. They do have strong pace options in Lockie Ferguson, Alzarri Joseph and Mohammed Shami, but the batting could let them down in their debut season.
Pre-tournament odds: 10/1
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Coach: Brendon McCullum; Captain: Shreyas Iyer
Despite coach McCullum admitting it was “disappointing” to lose Shubman Gill, the Knight Riders have retained West Indian all-rounders Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, with mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer also staying.
On paper, Kolkata has an abundance of overseas talent with Australian stars Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins, New Zealand paceman Tim Southee, Afghanistan T20 captain Mohammad Nabi and England wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings all in the squad. With only four foreign players permitted in the XI, it could take time for Kolkata to find the right blend. But if things click, they could certainly outrun their odds with some of the leading cricket betting sites.
Pre-tournament odds: 10/1
Coach: Andy Flower; Captain: KL Rahul
One of the league’s standout batters, Rahul has left Punjab Kings to skipper one of the new franchises. Jason Holder is more than capable of turning games with ball and bat, but Quinton de Kock will need to bounce back from a slightly disappointing last campaign where he averaged 29.70 at a strike rate of 116.01.
Krunal Pandya and Marcus Stoinis are among a crop of strong all-round talent, but the squad looks short of options beyond the first XI. England paceman Mark Wood is a match-winner, when fit, but he was ruled out of the tournament on March 18th with an elbow injury. This could be a testing first season for the Super Giants.
Pre-tournament odds: 10/1
Coach: Mahela Jayawardene; Captain: Rohit Sharma
The most successful side in IPL history with five titles all coming in the last nine seasons with Rohit at the helm. The swashbuckling opener was unsurprisingly retained along with Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and West Indies T20 skipper Kieron Pollard. They made the most expensive auction signing in wicketkeeper-batter, Ishan Kishan, keeping him in Mumbai having not retained him, but Jofra Archer – also signed at the auction – will miss this year’s fun through injury. Yadav also looks set to miss the opening match against Delhi Capitals as he recovers from a hairline fracture of his thumb.
England left-arm paceman Tymal Mills is in the squad, but this looks a weaker line-up than in recent years with Trent Boult and the Pandya brothers among those departing. Of note is the inclusion of Arjun Tendulkar, son of Sachin, who missed last year’s tournament through injury. With coach Jayawardene winning three of five titles since his arrival in 2017, the Indians are the leading cricket bookmakers’ favourites once more with home advantage – the vast majority of matches will be held in Mumbai – looking to be factored into their price.
Pre-tournament odds: 9/2
Coach: Anil Kumble; Captain: Mayank Agarwal
The departure of KL Rahul to Lucknow has left a big gap, but Jonny Bairstow will hope to fill it after impressing in his seven games for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season. Mayank Agarwal will captain the side with left-arm paceman Arshdeep Singh the only other player retained before the auction.
Buying former Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan looks to be a good move with the powerful Liam Livingstone a potential star of the tournament. Kagiso Rabada has also joined, while West Indian Odean Smith and Englishman Benny Howell offer possibilities with bat and ball. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is their main spin option, and while Livingstone can chip in, they might struggle in this department.
Pre-tournament odds: 13/2
Coach: Kumar Sangakkara; Captain: Sanju Samson
Batting is definitely the Royals’ strong point with Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal all retained. Shimron Hetmyer was picked up in the auction along with Rassie van der Dussen and former RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal, and Daryl Mitchell who accounted for England in the T20 World Cup semi-finals.
Spin is pretty useful too with Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal both bought at auction. Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna spearhead the seam attack with Jimmy Neesham likely to be doing a fair bit of bowling, while Obed McCoy and Nathan Coulter-Nile may find their opportunities limited by the four-foreigner rule. An interesting proposition on paper, but it might take time for coach Kumar Sangakkara to find the right balance.
Pre-tournament odds: 8/1
Coach: Sanjay Banger; Captain: Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis arrives from Chennai to relieve Virat Kohil of the captaincy having been the league’s second-highest run-scorer last season. They retained just three players ahead of the auction - Kohli, the mercurial Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj. Perennial underachievers - they have yet to win a title, and their last of three final appearances came in 2016. Royal Challengers Bangalore finally have a strong attack courtesy of last year’s MVP Harshal Patel (bought back), Josh Hazlewood and Sri Lankan leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
There is competition behind the stumps as well with veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and New Zealand’s Finn Allen both potential match-winners with the bat. David Willey and Jason Behrendorff add further depth to what looks a strong outfit.
Pre-tournament odds: 13/2
Coach: Tom Moody; Captain: Kane Williamson
Sunrisers Hyderabad finished rock bottom last year with just three wins out of 14, with Kane Williamson replacing David Warner as captain midway through the campaign. Williamson has been retained along with speedster Umran Malik and big-hitting Abdul Samad. Nicholas Pooran was their big-money signing of the auction, although he has much to prove after scoring just 85 runs in 11 innings last year for Punjab Kings.
Jonny Bairstow will be missed, but Glenn Phillips is a useful replacement for the England man, and Rahul Tripathi should make plenty of runs after playing well for Kolkata last season. The pace attack looks capable, too, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan bought back, and Romario Shepherd a good addition if he can get his radar working. But there is a gaping hole left by Rashid Khan’s departure, with Washington Sundar facing the unenviable task of trying to replace the Afghan spin master after leaving Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Pre-tournament odds: 12/1
The IPL is big business in India and in other Asian countries where online gambling is permitted. The same goes for other cricketing nations. So UK bookmakers, as well as Australian bookmakers and South African online bookmakers can expect a lot of bets being placed. Even US betting sites and Canadaian betting sites will see their share.
Cricket is less popular in mainland Europe, but UK-established bookmakers will have the same markets available for people there. Their betting apps can make wagering quicker, which is useful in such a fast-paced offering.
Odds on the outright tournament winners are available pre-tournament and throughout, while early matches are already priced up including top batter and bowler markets. The tournament runs from March 26 to May 29, so there are plenty of chances to visit the best cricket betting sites But in-play is where the action is for IPL betting with a plethora of ever-changing markets from over/under partnerships to next method of dismissal.
Look out for plenty of bonus offers, particularly at the start of the IPL. There might be free bet offers such as place X on a pre-match market and receive a free in-play bet of half that stake. Or deposit bonuses where you receive a free bet to half or even the whole value of your deposit. There might be a lull when the tournament gets going but expect more free bets or bonus offers for the knockout stages. As always, regularly check Bookmakers.com’s betting offers page to find all the best bonuses available.
Two teams stand out in the 14-year history of the IPL, with Mumbai Indians claiming five titles and Chennai Super Kings four. All of Mumbai’s wins have come since 2013, with the Indians winning three of the last five tournaments and the Super Kings taking the other two.
Kolkata Knight Riders (2012, 2014) are the only other multiple winners, with Rajasthan Royals winning the first title in 2008 but failing to reach the final since. Sunrisers Hyderabad (2016) were the last team outside the big two to take the crown having taken the place of the only other champions, 2009 winner Deccan Chargers, in Hyderabad.