Ed Hawkins tries to uncover the value on the top England runscorer market for the action from Bridgetown on Wednesday...
"Bairstow's winning at a rate of 25.8% so the 10/3 (which suggests he has a hit rate of 23) can be classed as value"
Root another bad wager
Before the final match of their disastrous Test series against the West Indies, we stated that Joe Root was terrible top-bat value in the first innings. He was priced far too short for the number of times he copped.
For game one of the ODI leg (read match preview here), there is a school of thought that Root might be value because, after a difficult opening two Test matches, he suddenly found his rhythm, He made a third-innings century at Gros Islet when the pressure was off and you could almost see him unburdened after England had taken a whopping first-innings lead.
There followed another century. Batting at No 3 in the warm-up for this format, Root made 114 from 81 balls against a West Indies University Vice Chancellor's XI. You can only beat what has been put in front of you and all that.
And yet there's more to hang your hat on that he's a bet this time. When England last visited the Caribbean for ODI cricket, Root made a ton on this very ground. So, what's not to like?
Unfortunately, it's his price. Which is still stinking the place out. Root is no better than 16/5 with Betfair Sportsbook to take honours. Over the last two years Root, it is true, has copped seven times in 41 matches, which puts him joint-second alongside Eoin Morgan for most productive batter in this England market. But that's not the record of a short-priced jolly.
We're not sure what Root is doing ahead of Jonny Bairstow, who has eight wins in 31 and is deserving of the status of one of the most destructive ODI openers in the world. He's winning at a rate of 25.8% so the 10/3 (which suggests he has a hit rate of 23) can be classed as value.
There are two other prices which suggest Bairstow, who has notched twice against West Indies in the last two years, is our bet. Jason Roy is 7/2 when he should be 6s given how often he cops. And then there's Alex Hales's 7/2 which takes up a fair chunk of the book. We don't expect him to play with Jos Buttler set to return to the XI after being rested in the warm-up.
Morgan is 9/2 but that's about fair for his 17.9 win rate. Ben Stokes has been underrated at 7s. We would have him down at 11/2. Obviously that's a whacking great chunk in our favour so it's worth playing him as well.
Holder versus Nurse
With Alzarri Joseph unavailable for the first two matches, the West Indies top bowler market could be a straight fight between Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse.
Although Holder has taken more wickets and at a better strike rate, Nurse delivers an uncommonly good tonic on this market. He has the same number of wins as his skipper (four from 36) but on no fewer than seven occasions has he hung in there to share honours. Two of his outright wins came against England, one of them at Bridgetown.
Sportsbook go 7/2 the pair Holder and Nurse. Unfortunately those odds are too mean so we have to swerve it. Dev Bishoo is a poor favourite with only one win in the last two years.
2019 - points p-l: +20.77 (28 points staked)
2018 - points p-l: +9.86 (89 points staked)
2017 - points p-l: +5.29 (26 points staked)