Hawkeye on India v England Third Test: Best batsman and bowler bets

Virat Kohli
Kohli is value for a ton

Ed Hawkins has spent hours in the Betfair markets and manages to make a case for a host of batsmen to follow under lights in Ahmedabad from Wednesday

"We're playing high on Virat Kohli and Chet Pujara. For match two we discussed the whopping edges they gave to score centuries in the first dig.

(1pt) Back Virat Kohli first-innings century @ 4.57/2

India v England
Wednesday 24 February 09.00
TV: live on Channel 4

Anderson stands up

Ben Stokes has said that England's bowlers are licking their lips at the prospect of using a pink ball under lights in India. One suspects they are hoping to give the hosts a taste of their own medicine after a Bunsen burner of a track in game two.

From a punting perspective, we hope Stokes is right. Pacers tend to do better than spin bowlers with the pink version. And there is a growing file of evidence that batting is slightly trickier. The average runs per wicket in the 15 Tests under lights is 27. In day Tests in the last 12 months that figure is at 31.

It would be wise, then, to swerve spin bowlers for honours in the first-innings wicket-takers market. Ravi Ashwin, hero in Chennai, is a swerve at 6/4. Likewise Jack Leach, who has never won, at 5/2.

The big question is this: is James Anderson value at 10/3? On win rate the answer is yes - win percentage of 23.8 versus implied probability of 23.1. A feather in our favour.

One bowler who goes very close to being value is Ishant Sharma. He is bang on the money at 4/1 with Sportsbook.

India top bowler wins/matches
Bumrah 3 2t/17
Ashwin 9 3t/26
Kuldeep 1/5
Ishant 5 t/25

England top bowl wins/matches
Woakes 1 5t/28
Anderson 10 6t/42
Broad 9 9t/50
Archer 2 t/12
Bess 3/10
Leach 0/10

Value galore

If there are slim pickings on the bowler markets, the opposite is true on the run markets. It's a bit of a feast when so often it is a famine.

First up, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope gives us edges for top runscorer for England in the first innings. Sportsbook go 4/1 and 8/1 respectively. As discussed in our match preview, the price about Pope is huge. We now expect him to kick on and establish himself as one of England's best.

There's also nowt wrong with the 13/8 that Stokes gets a half-century in the first-innings and Pope likewise at 5/2. The pitch could well be as flat as anything so that sort of market takes the worry away about what others might do.

We're playing high on Virat Kohli and Chet Pujara. For match two we discussed the whopping edges they gave to score centuries in the first dig. They have reduced slightly but both rate wagers at 7/2 and 5/1 respectively. Pujara has a double century to his name against England on this ground.

India top batsman wins/matches
Kohli 12/30
Pujara 5 t/32
Rahane 3/31
Ashwin 1/26
Pant 2/16

England top bat wins/matches
Stokes 9/43
Root 10/56
Woakes 1/26
Pope 4/15
Burns 3/23
Sibley 0/16
Foakes 2/6

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