Hawk Eye - England v Australia 2nd ODI: Finch and Tye to the fore
Ed Hawkins looks at the numbers behind Australia's best batsman and their best bowler ahead of the second ODI in Cardiff on Saturday...
"Every bet is, of course, a risk but by tailoring our analysis to focus only on the opposition he will face surely makes sense"
Aaron Finch has broad shoulders. Just as well. In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner he is carrying this Australia batting line-up.
But no doubt he doesn't mind. Finch has been curiously unheralded Down Under, perhaps cast into the shadows by the high-ranking achievements of Smith and Warner. Anywhere else he would have been revered. He has even spent time out of Australia limited-overs teams.
It is not difficult to see why he cannot be ignored. In the last three years he has an excellent record, scoring 1,037 runs and averaging a shade under 40. The like of Marcus Stoinis and Glen Maxwell would kill for those sort of numbers over his 28-game spread.
Stoinis will fancy his chances. From 13 matches he has 584 runs but the impression this brute gives is that, at the moment, he is too much brawn and too little brain. Maxwell's career could be defined by that statement. He has 418 runs in the last three years at a strike rate of 112.
So does Finch have much to beat in terms of landing top runscorer odds? Backers probably won't worry about Stoinis or Maxwell, even if the latter launched a rescue job at The Oval. Travis Head, on numbers, looks to be a threat because he outscores Finch in those three years. But he has played six games more. Finch being underrated again.
Shaun Marsh, as we said in our match preview, is worthy of a nod. He has ground form having played in Cardiff for Glamorgan this season. We wouldn't put you off backing Finch and Marsh at 10/3 and 7/2 respectively with Betfair Sportsbook.
There is better value at play, though. And unsurprisingly it involves our man Finch. It is a wager which perfectly highlights the difficulty in uncovering an edge.
On the face of it, Finch isn't value on the side markets of 'to score a fifty' and his runs quotes. He simply isn't value if we use the greater weight of statistical data - his whole career.
Sportsbook rate him at 2/1 for a half-century at Sophia Gardens. That's bang on because he has managed one 33 per cent of the time. In decimal terms that's 0.3 ticks above [3.00]. He is also overrated on career form to score more than 25.5 at 5/6. He should be 6/5.
Does that mean we go under for both? No. The issue here is that Finch has often saved his best for the English bowlers. He has a terrific record against them. His average jumps to 53.2 (only one not out in 20 innings) and he has plundered ten centuries and 18 fifties.
Every bet is, of course, a risk but by tailoring our analysis to focus only on the opposition he will face surely makes sense. And it gives us two clear edges to take on the bookies.
Tye could be a great
AJ Tye has played only five one-day internationals. So it is difficult for us to find a stack of numbers to back up a wager for him to finish as Australia's top wicket-taker.
This is a shame because we think he has the potential to be one of their finest ODI bowlers ever. Tye has made a good start to his ODI career. He has taken ten wickets at an average of 21.
Tye, who is also one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, offers variations which his team-mates cannot match. Those who are either in the squad or not. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood may be the Holy Trinity but in time we expect him to break it up.
Tye has knuckle balls, slower balls, wide yorkers and a few more besides. All perfected for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash. He should feel confident considering his Perth coach, Justin Langer, is now in charge of the national team.
Sportsbook rate him at 11/4 for top wicket-taker. In five games he is yet to cop. It could be his turn. If there is a number which suggests he's worth following it's this one - his strike rate of a wicket every 27 balls in the last 12 months is better by some distance than any other Aussie, including the Holy Trinity.