Ed Hawkins: The men you can trust with your ODI bets...and the men you can't

Joe Root and Ben Stokes
Root and Stokes - one is phenomenal value and one isn't
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Our cricket correspondent picks his player of the World Cup and marks your card for those who proved bad value...

"Stokes copped at a rate of around 11/2 before game one and after he landed at odds of 15/2 against the Saffers the love affair was on. He top scored three more times at whopping numbers, culminating in a 9/1 winner against New Zealand in the final. He ended the tournament a pure 7/2 chance and on two-year data no batsman in the world is so consistently underrated on the market."

Stokes our hero

Ben Stokes did not win the official player of the tournament award (Kane 'who me?!' Williamson got the gong) but for punters he was arguably top dog. After all, he was the glue which held England's campaign together to ensure short-priced favourites lifted the title.

He was a sensation from game one, top-scoring against South Africa and this set the tone for a series which few of his fans will ever forget. Indeed, this column is approaching official fanboy status given that before a ball was bowled we identified him as the only true value for top England runscorer honours in an individual innings.

Stokes copped at a rate of around 11/2 before game one and after he landed at odds of 15/2 against the Saffers the love affair was on. He top scored three more times at whopping numbers, culminating in a 9/1 winner against New Zealand in the final. He ended the tournament a pure 7/2 chance and on two-year data no batsman in the world is so consistently underrated on the market.

The value is unlikely to stop. Our Ashes preparations are under way and already the data is showing that Stokes is going to be a man to follow for top-bat honours in Tests, too.

Reliable Rohit

It would have been quite extraordinary if Rohit Sharma had failed to land World Cup top runscorer honours with a record-breaking five centuries. But he held on by the narrowest of margins - one run - from David Warner.

Only those who had gone big on Warner would have been anything but delighted. Had the Australian, banned for ball-tampering and pressuring a naïve Cameron Bancroft to do his dirty work, come out on top it would have left a sour taste.

Instead we were treated to the sight of Rohit creaming the ball to all parts in an aesthetic display on a par with the Northern Lights. There is no greater sight in the world game than this guy in full flow. And if you've backed him? Heaven. Even the Little Master in his prime didn't look this assured.

Rohit landed 18/1 top runscorer odds, and 7/2 odds for top Indian runscorer. He was also a top-bat staple for individual innings, ending the tournament with a 37% hit rate.

Best percentage wins on ODI top bat markets
Rohit 37%
De Kock 37%
Imam 35%
Hope 32%
Warner 30%

Best percentage wins on ODI top bowler markets
Ngidi 27%
Ferguson 26%
Plunkett 26%
Kuldeep 23%
Boult 22%

King Kohli dethroned

Virat Kohli was a disappointment, whichever way you look at it. The favourite for top tournament runscorer finished 11th with not even a sniff of an each-way place, his side surrendered hopelessly in the semi-final and he managed only two top-bat efforts in nine matches. This despite going off prohibitively short jolly in every game.

Steve Smith is another who is priced up on reputation rather than record. For some matches he was going off at 7/2 for top Aussie. But his two-year record now stands at three wins in 23. On the bright side, his data is much stronger in Tests and he should be more reliable in the Ashes.

Joe Root is in with the same crowd. Perhaps the leader of it. Root top scored once in the tournament but was often favourite or joint-second jolly at awful odds. If you'd backed him every time in the last two years to £10 level stakes at a (generous) average price of 3/1, you'd be down £215. Ouch.

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Trent Boult makes the top wicket-takers list above but it is hard to reckon he was anything other than a letdown in the World Cup. The favourite for top bowler didn't even take most Kiwi wickets as he was outbowled by the excellent Lockie Ferguson. Boult came into the tournament with a two-year strike rate of 28 but this climbed to 34 in the tournament alone.

Surprised we've not mentioned Chris Gayle? Well, we called it about halfway through. But he continued to stink the place out and if West Indies are to improve he has got to go.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2019: +30.28pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

Ed Hawkins,

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