Hawk Eye on England v West Indies Second Test: Keep faith in Holder and Roach

Holder and Roach could shine
Jason Holder and Kemar Roach
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Ed Hawkins checks his database for Sportsbook mistakes ahead of Thursday's clash from Old Trafford

"There is no change in Roach's action and there are no rumours of fitness issues so there is no reason to think his form has fallen off a cliff"

England v West Indies
Thursday 16 May 11.00
TV: live on Sky Sports Cricket

Stokes at the double

During England's chastening four-wicket defeat and Ben Stokes criticised for batting first, it might have gone unnoticed that the stand-in skipper produced a superhuman effort in the first and second match-innings.

Stokes top scored and he then completed the perfect all-round performance by claiming top bowler honours. It is a rare and remarkable double in any form of cricket. Stokes, though, has done it before - the Sydney Test of 2014 was another hero's effort for backers who had doubled up.

For the contest at Old Trafford, Stokes is 4/1 for top bat and the same price for top bowler. On recent win rate, we have Stokes down at marginally skinnier (in decimal odds around [4.70] to top score. His win in Southampton with the ball was only his second in his last 30 Tests. He has eight wins in his 64 Test career and three ties.

Joe Root remains horrible value at 3/1 with Betfair Sportsbook (look at that record below) and as he comes into the match cold with no crease time, a case could be made for shorting his performance quote. Betfair Sportsbook go 5/6 over/under 103.5 (1pt per run, 10 per catch, 20 per wicket). Root has a career average mark of 104 points per game but in the last two years he averages 93.8.

A pure data case could be made for Jos Buttler at 12s for top England bat. He should have got up to pip Stokes last time but his form and confidence is low. In all first-class cricket on his home ground he averages 36, which is not much to write home about.

Buttler's Test career will probably end if he fails. He would be better suited not to "trust my defence" and go on the attack. It is early days for Ollie Pope and we can't believe 5/1 is going to be available for much of his career.

England top bat wins/matches
Root 7/47
Stokes 8/38
Buttler 3/25
Woakes 1/21
Pope 2/8
Foakes 1/5
Burns 3/16
Crawley1/5
Sibley 0/7

England top bowl wins/matches
Woakes 1 4t/23
Anderson 8 6t/36
Broad 7 7t/43
Archer 2/8
Wood 2/8
Leach 0/4
Bess 1/3
Stokes 2/30

Keep the faith

Jermaine Blackwood's second-innings heroics in Southampton was a case of bad timing for followers. We were on him for honours in the first dig at a massive 10/1. Just how good a price that was is exposed by Betfair Sportsbook's massive cut to 5/1.

The good news is that he rates as value still. Sportsbook give him a 16.7% chance. We make it 17.8%
We will also have to go back in on Jason Holder for first-innings bat. He has been pushed out from 15/2 to 10/1. His form, it has to be said, is poor so we will halve our stakes.

As for top bowler, Kemar Roach is worth keeping faith with. His win percentage has dipped over his last three Tests from 50% to 42%. But it remains extraordinary. He didn't bowl poorly in Southampton, despite going wicketless.

There is no change in his action and there are no rumours of fitness issues so there is no reason to think his form has fallen off a cliff.

Holder is a worthy rival, though. His win rate is in to 23.5 but he gets the same quote as Roach at 11/4. Shannon Gabriel is favourite at 5/2 but there's no evidence he should be as short, particularly as he looked to be stiff and sore after a tremendous show on the coast.

West Indies top batsman wins/matches
S Hope 2/21
Holder 2/17
Chase 3/22
K Brathwaite 4/22
Dowrich 1 t/21
Campbell 1/6
Blackwood 5/28

West Indies top bowler wins/matches
Gabriel 2 2t/20
Roach 8 2t/19
Holder 4/17
Chase 0/22
K Brathwaite t/22
Cornwall 1/2

Read Ed Hawkins' full Second Test preview here

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Cricket...Only Bettor 38: What can we expect from the Old Trafford pitch?


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