Ed Hawkins dissects the Australia top-bat market batting first and second ahead of game three in Potchefstroom...
"Finch’s record is five wins across 22 matches batting first and just two in 18 chasing. Warner, then, might become a better wager in a chase with his main rival subdued"
Only bet on wrong prices
David Warner started this series as a 13/5 chance with Sportsbook for top runscorer in an individual innings. He ends it as an 11/4 shot. How many times has he won during that period to achieve a cut of implied probability at 1.1%? None.
The layers, like most punters, reckon that Warner is due. We don't disagree. Our instinct also tells us that, with three chances, Warner will get hold of South Africa's attack at some stage. But we can't bet on instinct. We bet on price. Does the 11/4 give us the chance to win our stakes back having betted him in games one and two? Just about. With a 28.5% win rate, he should be slightly shorter at 5/2.
In an effort to make more sense of the top Australia bat market, we extended our data dive on Aussie records batting first and second to four years (we looked at three years before Bloemfontein). The initial study suggested Warner was a better wager batting second. Adding an extra 12 months has given us a bigger study period from nine games to 26 and 24 respectively batting first and second in Warner's case.
He has 10 wins in 26 batting first and seven in 24 chasing. Aaron Finch's record is five wins across 22 matches batting first and just two in 18 chasing. Warner, then, might become a better wager in a chase with his main rival subdued.
Unlike Warner, Quinton de Kock has drifted for top South Africa bat from 11/5 to 23/10. That maintains a decent edge for us on the two-year data which suggests he should be like 15/8.
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South Africa top bat wins/matches last two years
De Kock 13 t/37
Miller 3 t/36
Australia top bat wins/matches last two years
Finch 9 t/43
Lungi Ngidi has five wins and a tie on the top bowler market in South Africa's eight limited-overs fixture in their summer. It has been an extraordinary return to form even by Ngidi's standards.
Often overlooked in favour of Kagiso Rabada when pundits talk about the nation's pace stocks, Ngidi has once again proven he is in the top echelon in the world for winning in this market.
Ngidi now has eight wins and five ties in his last 26 ODI. His six-wicket haul to derail Australia's attempts to set a monster target in Bloemfontein meant he shared the man of the match award with centurion Jannie Malan.
At the start of the series, Ngidi was rated a 10/3 shot with a 25% win rate. He is now 11/4 jolly with a 30.7% rate. Best of all, when Rabada returns from a long stint out with injury, we expect the layers to once again give him top billing and Ngidi will be a terrific wager.
South Africa top bowler wins/matches last two years
Ngidi 8 5t/26
Shamsi 1 1t/14
Phehlukwayo 4 4t/36
Australia top bowler wins/matches last two years
Hazlewood 3 2t/12
Starc 5 3t/23
K Richardson 1 3t/14
Cummins 6 3t/33
Zampa 4 5t/30