India v England
Saturday 20 March 22.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Contrasting fortunes for batters
The final match of the series is always tricky for the side markets. We are betting on players who have over-achieved or underachieved, are in the form of their life or are stuck in some sort of rut.
The best examples of either for both teams are probably Jason Roy, who has had a superb series to nail his place in the World T20, and Virat Kohli who has surpassed expectations with two wins on the top-bat markets. On the other side of the coin there have been horrible struggles for KL Rahul and Dawid Malan. Both came into this series with superb records and reputations. They end it fighting for their position in the team.
Rahul has made it to double figures once - and that was last time out. His 14, however, was hardly the sort of innings which is going to make us ignore the fact there is no edge on win rate at 11/4 and back him regardless.
Then there's Malan, who is big value at 7/2. Malan is a curious case because although he is the No 1 T20 batsman, he gets criticised for starting too slowly. And just when he has looked to put his foot down in this series, he has got out. His 14 from 17 in game four was far from ideal but it's also far from ideal to pin England's defeat solely on him.
We have backed Malan in each of the matches for top bat because, on win rate, he should be shorter. He is overdue a win. In an ideal world he wins in game one or two and our work is done. But when he keeps on losing, we worry something is afoot.
Either the criticism is getting to Malan or not. There's also the strong possibility that it is all outside noise and England are quite happy with the way he plays. It is entirely possible he is following orders.
If you've lost patience with Malan, that's fine. An alternative is Jonny Bairstow at 4/1. He gives an edge of just over two per cent on implied probability. There have been no worries with him over form or confidence.
Another batter who has had a fruitless time is Rohit Sharma. He has looked strangely cowed - despite hitting his first ball for six on Thursday - in his outings so far. We were on him for a win in game three because, again, the price was wrong. This time he is 5/2. It would seen reactionary to abandon him now. When we know a price is wrong we have to take it.
Top India bat last two years wins/matches
Top England bat last two years wins/matches
Finding value on Kohli
The top match runscorer market also throws up some value, although our man Rohit is not one to follow. The 9/2 Sportsbook offrr is just a little too skinny - a record of winning 16.6% versus probability of 18.2%.
Unsurprisingly, Rahul and Malan are underrated. Rahul's 18.% win rate makes the 5/1 look very big. Likewise Malan's 7/1 when he is winning at a rate of 26%.
The pick, though, is probably Kohli. We know he is in form and there's a whopping edge. We would still be taking 4/1 on this market about the great man because no other player has top scored in the match more often in T20 internationals. He has 19 wins in 89 matches and the 15/2 is a bet. Rohit is No 2 on that list by the way.
Top India bowler wins/matches last two years
Chahar 3 3t/13
Thakur 2 3t/19
Chahal 1 4t/16
B Kumar t/10
Bumrah 1 t/8
Natarajan 1 t/3
Jadeja 1 2t/10
Washington 1 4t/23
T = ties
Top England bowler wins/matches last two years
Jordan 5 3t/23
Rashid 3 2t/22
T Curran 1 3t/20
S Curran 1 3t/12
Wood 1 t/11
Stokes 1 t/10
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