England v India
Sunday 17 July, 11:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Jonny be good
The ODI series so far has been a lesson in faith. Specifically, is the love-in for Jonny Bairstow worth persisting with? He's been a bit of a heartbreaker so far.
Bairstow came into this series perfectly tuned up. He had been playing white-ball style cricket in the red-ball format, thrashing New Zealand, and then India's, bowlers to all parts.
At times, he appeared to reach the mythical shangri-la of batting immortality.
In other words, seeing the ball like a beach ball in super slow-mo.
And we were ready to back him for more. In the first ODI Sportsbook made a rick. They made England's premier opener a 9/2 chance, mixing him up with Jos Buttler who they priced to open. Of course Buttler batted at No 5. Of course Buttler topped at a mean, prohibitive price.
In game two, Bairstow looked like landing. But just when he was set with 38 off 38, he was bowled by Yuz Chahal. A most disappointing outcome for a great player of spin.
At Old Trafford, Bairstow should feel zen again. He has terrific ground form. He smashed a ton on his last visit in OPDI pyjamas and his average of 79 in the last five years in this format at the ground (six matches) is eyewatering.
So Bairstow has ground form, recent form and form against the opposition. Does he have the win rate at 16/5? Very much so. There's an edge of 4.7% Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
Bairstow is also a smidge of value at 10/11 for over 34.5 runs. He has eight wins in his last 15. We note the 8/1 that he takes the man of the match prize and the 11/2 that he is top match bat.
Top England bat wins/matches
S Curran 1/8
Kohli's form a concern
Rohit Sharma, the India captain, also has ground form, as discussed in the match preview. There is a strong inkling that this contest will be dominated by the batters.
Few are better than Rohit, of course. His 140 against Pakistan in 2019 was a masterclass. he has been boosted to 11/4 for top India bat. That provides an edge of 0.5% on win rate.
The batter with the biggest edge, however, is Virat Kohli. At 3.3% it's pretty chunky but we're wary of Kohli's lack of form across all formats this summer. He just doesn't seem capable of getting a score at the moment.
On a potential spinning surface, Yuz Chahal's eight returns on top India bowler in his last 25 appearances suggest the 3/1 from Sportsbook is toppy. His four wickets at Lord's last time also point to decent form.
Top India bat wins/matches
Top India bowler wins/matches
Chahal 6 3t/25
Thakur 2 t/14
Bumrah 2 2t/14
Shami 3 2t/14
England v SA ODI series preview on Cricket...Only Bettor