Ed Hawkins crunches the numbers to reveals who is hot and who is not for the first match in Ahmedabad on Friday...
"Malan, however, takes the cream with a massive 20.6 implied probability points at 7/2 based on that two-year data. Even if we extended to three years Malan would still be a wager"
India v England
Friday 12 March, 13:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
On win rates there are only four men to follow for individual top runscorer honours in the five-match T20 series for India and England. KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan have been dominant.
Indeed, Rahul and Rohit account for more than 55% of wins on two-year form while Bairstow and Malan tot up more than 60%. Realistically, however, we're not in the business of betting two men on each market. So we have to be clever.
In an ideal world we would alternate from man to man per game having netted a winner in the first outing. But this is not an ideal world. So from the start we side with the players who give us the biggest edge on win rate. And that is comfortably Rahul and Malan, who we have also noted are underrated on the top match runscorer outcome.
At Sportsbook's 12/5 Rohit is giving us 7.9 points on implied probability. Malan, however, takes the cream with a massive 20.6 implied probability points at 7/2 based on that two-year data. Even if we extended to three years Malan would still be a wager.
It is the biggest edge we have seen. Well, since Malan last turned out for England in this format, of course. There are some concerns that Malan was not his dominant self for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash and that spinning surfaces may reduce his effectiveness. But he has shone in the Pakistan Super League so we are not overly concerned.
One take home from the two-year data is the poor return of Jos Buttler. At market favourite at no better than 12/5 he is a swerve but surely he will get those numbers up in time? Virat Kohli is another poor wager.
Top India bat last two years wins/matches
Top England bat last two years wins/matches
No Bum rush
India's selectors are not the only ones ruing the loss of Jasprit Bumrah for this series. Punters are, too. And not because they want to back him for top bowler honours.
Forever favourite for most wickets, Bumrah is forever a bad wager. On two-year form it's only one outright win in eight. A ratio he barely improves on when filtering to three-year form. He is a big miss because his short price opens up the value elsewhere.
At 5/2 and 11/4 respectively Yuz Chahal and Bhuv Kumar are on the skinny side as the front two in the betting. Deepak Chahar, however, represents a spot of value at 7/2, returning in half of his matches.
Still, we are wary of this market because we are unsure of what the wicket will do, as discussed here. It could be a slow, low and dusty surfaces with spin dominant. Indeed, India could use three spinners, particularly after left-arm quick Natarajan was revealed to be an unlikely starter.
For England we like Chris Jordan a lot at 3/1. As a death bowler he picks up cheap wickets and has a vastly superior record to Jofra Archer. But we're already on him for top England series bowler so we don't need extra exposure. If you're not on that bet, though, fill your boots.
Top India bowler wins/matches last two years
Chahar 3 3t/12
Thakur 2 2t/15
Chahal 1 2t/13
B Kumar t/6
Bumrah 1 t/8
Natarajan 1 t/3
Jadeja 1 2t/10
Washington 1 t/19
T = ties
Top England bowler wins/matches last two years
Jordan 5 2t/19
Rashid 3 2t/18
T Curran 1 3t/19
S Curran 1 t/8
Stokes 1 t/6
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