Ed Hawkins looks at the Indian captain's chance of top scoring in Cape Town on Saturday in the deciding T20...
"Kohli is a good bet to top score. He should be shorter in the betting than he is. And that’s all we should really be focussing on when betting. Is the price right or wrong?"
By his own lofty standards, Virat Kohli is having a right stinker in the T20 series against South Africa. In two innings he has 27 runs. That's scores of 26 and one. Pull your finger out, Virat.
Of course, we expect him to do just that in Cape Town. Although Kohli bats like one might reckon the Almighty would - iron wrists and cover drives like honey falling from a spoon - the poor lad can't get all of the runs, all of the time. After all Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are pretty useful disciples, too.
Last time out it was Manish Pandey, once held in the same esteem as Kohli when the two were coming through the ranks, who top scored for India. It was his turn to look a million dollars and to leave regular watchers of India cricket asking: how the hell doesn't this guy not score big runs more often?
Maybe the answer to that is Kohli has already got them all. Certainly his record in T20 often gives his team-mates the opportunity to only pick up the scraps.
It is his two 'failures' which excite us for this match. On the law of averages, Kohli is due a score. And a decent one enough to win us a top-bat bet. Kohli top scores in this format often enough to make odds of 8/5 bang on. Crazy isn't it? Well, he's that good.
So the 13/5 with the Betfair Sportsbook should give us a hope.
There is no question that Kohli was not in form. He notched three brilliant centuries in the ODI series that preceded the thrash and bash. It is possible that he has lost his touch slightly - form comes as quickly as it goes - momentarily but there has to be a doubt as to whether Kohli is human in that regard. He is so consistent.
Who can stop him?
Rohit is his greatest threat odds-wise. He is, in real terms, an 11/4 shot and there is no doubt that a few years ago it was Rohit who was considered the next big thing. The opener was laying waste to bowling attacks until an unfortunate knee injury curtailed his progress.
He has reasonable form against South Africa in the limited-overs format, too. He managed a century in Port Elizabeth but that was his only score of 22 or more.
In terms of runs scored we might be more wary of Dhawan. He has had an excellent sequence of scores, notching a century and two fifties in the ODI. He also top scored with 72 in the first T20. He looked set for honours again in Centurion when he raced to 24 off 14 before making a mistake against the spin of JP Duminy.
But he could have busted himself. Dhawan is not consistent and statistically that should be him done. He top scores just shy of 18 per cent of the time in T20 internationals.
As we have said before, there is no connection to us pontificating on these pages about the numbers in a batsman's favour and him nicking one off to the keeper in his first over. Or indeed that chance being shelled.
It's just that in terms of pure maths, Kohli is a good bet to top score. He should be shorter in the betting than he is. And that's all we should really be focussing on when betting. Is the price right or wrong?
2018 - points p-l: -4.7 (22 points staked)
2017 - points p-l: +5.29 (26 points staked)