Ed Hawkins analyses the India opener's game to find out whether he is due runs in Pune on Sunday...
"A flat pitch is not great for top-bat bets. Rohit might make a big one, but Rishabh Pant, say, may go bigger. When runs are so easy to come by, that gulf in winning ability is reduced"
India v England
Sunday 28 March, 08:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Way to go Ro
With seven centuries in his last 20 ODI innings, Rohit Sharma is either about to explode in the decider in Pune or be categorised as 'out of nick'. So far, England have dodged The Hitman's bullets.
While others have been murderous on this flat surface - Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and even Krunal Pandya - Rohit has only threatened. The menace has been there but he's made a mistake just before doing something damaging. Scores of 28 and 25 hint of something big to come.
In the last three years, Rohit has been remarkably consistent. He has only three times gone more than three innings without notching a fifty. It rather torpedoes the (not unreasonable theory) that Rohit is someone who needs time to tune up.
As ever, the 11/4 that Sportsbook offer about him top scoring for India is not big enough. Despite two blanks in this series, Sportsbook are offering 8.5% points on implied probability. We cannot overstate what a massive edge that is in the context of his quality and the top runscorer market around the world.
Flat pitch a great leveller
However, a flat pitch (as discussed in our match preview) is not great for top-bat bets. Rohit might make a big one, but Rishabh Pant, say, may go bigger. When runs are so easy to come by, that gulf in winning ability is reduced. It's a great leveller.
Now because of that we were hoping for prices on Rohit to score a ton or to score a fifty. Neither are available. Rohit is 7/1 for man of the match, though, and 9/2 for top match bat. Are either value? Well, on the basis (or rather worry) that it is wide open for runs probably not. On pure numbers, that view is reinforced. Rohit has win rates of 12.5% and 17% respectively over his career.
An antidote to the Rohit conundrum is to bet him for runs with Sportsbook's over quote. They go 10/11 over 35.5. Filtering his returns when opening at home over his career, he is an even money chance. Restricting to the last three years and Rohit is a 4/6 chance.
For game two we were on Kohli for man of the match. Sportsbook rate him at 6/1 and over his career he has a success rate of 14.3%. That gives us an edge of 0.1%. There are fine margins in this game but it's one to probably swerve this time.
For England, we have to decided to leave Stokes's price of 9/2 alone for similar reasons to Rohit. Stokes, of course, is in great touch but Bairstow and Roy are in decent shape, too.
India top bat wins/matches
India top bowler wins/matches
Bhuv 7 8t/55
Bumrah 8 10t/54
Kuldeep 13 13t/61
Chahal 9 4t/49
Shami 7 3t/27
England top bat wins/matches
Bairstow 14 1t/59
Root 9 1t/63
Buttler 6 1t/59
England top bowler wins/matches
Rashid 7 11t/64
Woakes 6 9t/42
Wood 2 6t/40
Ali 3 5t/54
T Curran 3 2t/22
Stokes 2 5t/43