Ed Hawkins crunches the numbers to reveal two reliable Kiwis for the SCG action early on Friday...
"Kane Williamson, is once again too skinny. We do not doubt Williamson’s quality but it is important to realise he does not win this market as often as Taylor with a win rate of 22.5%"
There are a couple of sizeable edges for punters to enjoy on the New Zealand tops markets at the SCG. Ross Taylor and Lockie Ferguson have been underrated by Sportsbook.
Taylor, who has spent his entire career being undervalued it seems, is a fantastic bet at 5/1 to score more runs than his team-mates. On two-year form he has 13 wins in 44 matches, the hit rate of a 12/5 shot. In other words, Sportsbook give him a 16.9% chance of top scoring, we reckon it's a shade under 30%. It's a terrific edge.
Perhaps most important of all is the fact that perennial favourite, Kane Williamson, is once again too skinny. We do not doubt Williamson's quality but it is important to realise he does not win this market as often as Taylor with a win rate of 22.5%.
It is odd, then, that Taylor is so underrated. One would have thought that the number four's consistency would have been spotted. Of course markets are often priced on reputation, or money flow (expected or real), and on that reasoning Williamson is always going to head the list.
With Taylor turning 36 this week, it is never going to change. Taylor is, it is worth repeating, New Zealand's highest Test runscorer. He is also their highest ODI runscorer of all time. Williamson may, down the track, pass him but at present there is little evidence they should be separated by such a huge gulf in odds.
Reliable Ferguson is Kiwis' most lethal
Ferguson is fit again after injuring a calf during New Zealand's harrowing Test defeat in Australia in December. He returned to domestic cricket in February and is at optimum fitness having played two List A matches and two first-class games.
With 46 wickets in the last two years, Ferguson is New Zealand's most lethal bowler. His strike rate of 24.6 is the most superior, too. The situation with him and the much-feared Trent Boult is not dissimilar to the Williamson-Taylor debate. Boult has a reputation, Ferguson is building his. Unlike the aforementioned, Ferguson may surpass Boult in terms of infamy.
Over the same period, Boult has 42 wickets in three more matches and a strike rate of 31.9. That's more than a whole over. When it comes to winning the top New Zealand bowler market, then, it should be no surprise that Ferguson is a more reliable.
Boult wins 21.9% of the time and Ferguson 25.9%. Given that data and the numbers above, who is more befitting 9/4 favourite status and 7/2 outsider status? It is surely Ferguson. Sportsbook make it the other way round. We hope they have made a mistake.
Top NZ bat wins/matches
Top NZ bowler wins/matches
Henry 4 2t/21
Boult 9 7t/41
Lockie 7 5t/27
Sodhi 3 2t/13
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Faith in Warner
There is still enough of an edge to take the 13/5 about David Warner top scoring on two-year data. The gap in our favour, though, is beginning to diminish after three blanks against South Africa.
Sportsbook give him a 27.8% chance. Our data says 28.5%. With Warner's record at Sydney so good (as discussed in our full match preview), it would be a shame to miss out. He has four fifties and three centuries in 13 innings.
With that record, it would be understandable if we played safe on Warner and backed him at 5/4 for a fifty. Likewise the 10/11 that he busts 37.5 runs.
Top Aus bat wins/matches
Finch 9 t/44
Top Aus bowler wins/matches
Hazlewood 4 2t/13
Starc 5 3t/23
K Richardson 1 3t/15
Cummins 6 3t/33
Zampa 4 5t/31