India look ominous
Conway value for top tournament runscorer
Best bat and bowlers to follow
Pressure? What pressure? One of the few imponderables about India's World Cup chances was how they would cope with expectation of 1.4 billion of their brethren expecting them to waltz to the title.
So far, India have been astonishingly good. They looked bang at it in the field from the get-go against Australia in their opener and they have not even glanced back. Crushing victories over the Aussies and Afghanistan have put them on course for top spot in the group.
It would take an improbable collapse for them not to make the semi-finals. Four wins from here guarantee progress and with fixtures to come against Netherlands, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka they're close to cruise control.
Has they value on them long gone? If they finish in a crucial first spot, meaning they play the weakest qualifier, the current 1.618/13 about a final berth will probably be replicated for the last-four match-odds.
That leaves the 2.6413/8 about the title. This still looks good and given their fast start it's unlikely to get much shorter.
Old faithful a letdown
We await the first big shock of the tournament in terms of a giantkilling. But eyebrows have been raised at the number of reliable performers who have, so far, disappointed.
Of the most reliable top-bat and bowlers bets pre-tournament based on two-year win rates, only three have obliged: New Zealand's Will Young against Netherlands, Pakistan's Haris Rauf versus Netherlands and India's Jasprit Bumrah against Afghanistan.
This means that World Cups bring a different sort of pressure. Or there's about to be a boatload of winners for the old faithful.
Top five most reliable top-bat bets last two years yet to win:
David Warner 34.7
Babar Azam 30.7
Scott Edwards 30
Ibrahim Zadran 27.2
Heinrich Klaasen 25.8
Top five most reliable top-bowler bets yet to return:
Trent Boult 70%
Adam Zampa 50%
Adil Rashid 50%
Taskin Ahmed 40.9%
Mitchell Starc 38%
Gill absence a killer
The biggest letdown, through no fault of his own, is Shubman Gill. This was supposed to be a tournament which crowned him as the next India batting deity. Dengue fever has ruled him out of the first two matches and probably the third, the seismic contest versus Pakistan on Saturday.
It means there's been no opportunity to bet a 32% winner on the tops markets. Meanwhile vouchers for top tournament runscorer and top India tournament runscorer, second-favorited for the former and backed into jolly for the latter, may as well be binned. He's 199 behind Mohammd Rizwan overall and 140 behind Virat Kohli.
Rizwan is still available at 16.50 to hold on until the bitter end. Kohli is 7.4013/2 favourite and Devon Conway potential value at 8.07/1.
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