Ed Hawkins uncovers top-bat value in the shape of Rohit and Stokes for game one in Pune from Tuesday...
"If you want an extra comfort rug, Rohit is particularly lethal batting second where he wins almost twice as often"
India v England
Tuesday 23 March, 08:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Here we go Ro
With a win rate of 36% on the top runscorer odds for India, only West Indies Shai Hope comes close to matching Rohit Sharma for the tag of 'most reliable wager' on the market.
Rohit, who goes off at 11/4, should be the favourite (we say this at the start of every ODI series). Instead it is Virat Kohli's reputation which holds sway. As great as Kohli is, he is often put in the shade in this format. Kohli wins 27% of the time.
That's not to say Kohli is not value. There's a three per cent edge at those odds. It's just that Rohit is better value with almost ten points in our favour. If you want an extra comfort rug, Rohit is particularly lethal batting second where he wins almost twice as often.
We note the 9/2 that Rohit top scores in the mach. Alas, we cannot get involved. The price is out by a measly one per cent in favour of the Sportsbook.
Kohli, who has two centuries in ODI on this ground, is 4/1. Kohli is No 3 on the all-time lists for players top scoring most in matches (Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya are Nos 1 and 2 respectively). But that doesn't make him a bet. His win rate means he is bang on the right prices with a 20% chance.
As discussed in our match odds preview, we expect the pitch to be flat. This should suit Rohit's stand-and-deliver approach. It was cheering that he returned to form with a half-centiry in the final T20. We know Kohli is his greatest threat, of course.
India top bat wins/matches
India top bowler wins/matches
Bumrah 8 10t/54
Kuldeep 13 13t/59
Chahal 9 4t/49
Shami 7 3t/27
Stokes could bat at No 3
Ben Stokes was the go-to man for top England batsman in ODI at whopping prices not so long ago. The days when he was 8/1 (the price for his magical World Cup final blitz) are long gone. He is now 7/2 with the Sportsbook.
But confusion reigns, which explains that price. After 16/5 favourite Jonny Bairstow, the Sportsbook, like the rest of us, are wary about how England will line-up. Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jos Buttler are all the same price. Sam Billings stand out as a particularly whiffy price at 4/1.
With no Joe Root, England are unsure who bats at No 3. Stokes will probably get the gig unless Malan is asked to reprise his role at first down from the T20 series but that messes with their balance.
The big question is this: is Stokes value at that price on win rate? Sadly not. The 7/2 is 22.2%. Our database has him down at 21.9%. By the barest of margins. Sure I've heard that before somewhere. If you take those odds you could justify for three reasons.
One, Stokes is not a 7/2 shot batting at No 3. And two, he is the only England player remotely close to being priced at what he should be. FInally, he knows the ground well having been a Pune Supergiant. He has a fine record there.
However, the good news is that Stokes is value on top match runscorer. But only by one per cent. We are talking big numbers, though. Sportsbook's 19/1 stands out like a sore thumb.
England top bat wins/matches
Bairstow 12 1t/57
Root 9 1t/63
Buttler 6 1t/57
England top bowler wins/matches
Rashid 7 11t/63
Woakes 6 9t/42
Wood 2 6t/40
Ali 3 5t/53
T Curran 3 1t/21
India v England ODI series preview on Cricket...Only Bettor