Ed Hawkins analyses the side markets for the Cape Town test which starts from Friday
"For Broad to be a loser for sellers on this market he is going to have to do something he has not done for four years - produce an average make-up of more than 100"
Rage against the time machine
Stuart Broad might be entering the final year of his international career. Not that he would admit it. Broad is doing a very fine job of raging against the dying of the light. Just when it looks likely to go out, he produces an illuminating performance.
Broad is constantly under the microscope it seems. England's selectors appear to be searching for a way to drop him. Only this week coach Chris Silverwood said he was not afraid to axe the Nottinghamshire man. It seems harsh on a pacer who is consistently threatening with the ball. And it hasn't always been possible to say that about him.
Despite the emergence of Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, Broad is holding on. And the folks at Betfair Sportsbook seem to like him a lot. His performance quote has caught out eye for the clash from the Newlands. It looks chunky indeed with one point awarded per run, 10 per catch and 20 per wicket. Sportsbook go over or under 100.5 at 5/6 the pair.
It is something of a theme. Each of the five players quoted on the market for this Test are, on average performance make-ups over the last two years, worth selling. Here are their averages per game and their quote...
Du Plessis 69/84.5
De Kock 109/113.5
Despite the discrepancy between the make-ups and quotes for Faf Du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada, we're keen to swerve the pair. Du Plessis has an excellent record at Newlands and Rabada has just rediscovered his form with some thrilling bowling at Centurion.
That leaves a 16-point swing in our favour on Broad. Do we fight shy of him, too? No. It's always a bold move to take on Broad because he is capable of extraordinary, match-turning performances. But in all probability that is our mind playing tricks on us. We remember the great performances because they were, well, great. The eight for 15 before lunch against Australia in 2015. We don't remember the more mundane which form the majority of his career because they are not memorable.
For Broad to be a loser for sellers on this market he is going to have to do something he has not done for four years - produce an average make-up of more than 100. This seems unlikely despite his determination to try turn back the clock with his performances. Against South Africa in his career he averages 94 per game and in South Africa it's 98.
On the road in the last two years he has an average of 67. The numbers are with us.
Broad average make-ups last five years
89 - 2019
80 - 2018
79 - 2017
83 - 2016
108 - 2015
Rory Burns' stock continues to rise despite only 15 Tests and his price shortens for top England bat in the first innings. Sportsbook go 7/2.
Perhaps, in time, that might be a bet but so far he's a 4/1 shot. It's a shame as he is the probably the most reliable man in a market headed by an awful favourite in Joe Root who has a win rate of just 16%. The 11/4 stinks the place out.
Joe Denly, then, at 5/1 has appeal. He has three wins and is beginning to adapt to the stresses and strains of Test level. We are wary of two things: the short study period and the fact he's just won honours at Centurion.
Back to Burns, then. Sportsbook go 5/6 that he exceeds 24.5 runs or more in the first-innings. It's probably the best way to get with him because there's so little in it on implied probability. Eight times in his career Burns has busted the mark.
South Africa top bat wins/matches
Du Plessis 4/17
De Kock 3/19
South Africa top bowler wins/matches
Rabada 5 3t/19
Philander 1 2t/15
England top bat wins/matches
S Curran 2/14
England top bowl wins/matches
Woakes 1 4t/22
Anderson 7 6t/34
Broad 7 7t/39
S Curran 2 2t/14
2019 - points p-l: +30.25 (133 points staked)
2018 - points p-l: +9.86 (89 points staked)
2017 - points p-l: +5.29 (26 points staked)