Ed Hawkins: The top five most overrated T20 batters

Martin Guptill
Guptill disappoints

Our cricket correspondent continues his analysis of the players who are judged on reputation instead of record...

"Go hell for leather from ball one. Players like Williamson are soon likely to be relics of T20's early years"

Martin Guptill

Guptill is handed franchise contracts like the rest of us receive junk mail. Nothing wrong with that - he busts a 130 strike rate in both franchise and international games, is a great team man and is not an expensive capture.

However, he is not consistent. He may well strike at 130 but for punters at least, he doesn't do it for long enough. Guptill has only four wins in his last 26 appearances for New Zealand. That's a win rate of just 14.8%. In other words, even 11/2 would be too short. Now, Guptill is usually priced at around 5/2 so do you want to be taking those odds given his actual record? Of course not.

It could be that Guptill's T20 international career could come to an end if, as expected, the World T20 does not take place this year. New Zealand may want to go with an opening combination of Colin Munro and the exciting wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert.

Kane Williamson

Guptill's poor form has meant that his captain, Williamson, has taken over at the head of the betting for top Kiwi bat. For the last T20 New Zealand played, Williamson was priced at 11/4 jolly.

Injury prevented him from taking part. A blessed relief for the poor punters who reckoned that was a bet. Williamson has a poor record with three wins in his last 21. That a win percentage of just 14.2, a whopping 12.5 point gap from his actual implied probability.

We are not suggesting Williamson is a poor player. Far from it. Just that he is a terrible betting prospect. He plays more of an anchor role, allowing the likes of Guptill, Munro, Seifert, Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor to throw caution to the wind.

It's doubtful as to whether this is a smart strategy or not. Most analysts would argue that teams who put much store in keeping wickets intact are ones who will not succeed. Go hell for leather from ball one. Players like Williamson are soon likely to be relics of T20's early years.

By the way, want to know who is value on top Kiwi bat if Guptill and Williamson are not? Then click here.

Steve Smith

Like Williamson, Smith is priced on the reputation and records he has built in the long form. A genius in the pressure-cooker of the five-day format, Smith is anything but in T20.

He has a win rate on top runscorer markets throughout his career of just 13%. So you will forgive us if we avoid the 11/4.

It is true that Smith has had a resurgence in the format, two of those top bats coming this year. But as discussed in a recent Cricket...Only Bettor podcast, it is a turnaround that is not expected to last.

Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan is another whose international career could be coming to an end. Consistency is key for India when the nation boasts a production line of talent like few others. KL Rahul should take over full-time while Shivam Dube, Sanju Samson and Rish Pant may be trialled in the opening berth, too, alongside Rohit Sharma.

Dhawn has a win rate of 18% in the last two-and-a-bit years in the format. It's not a terrible record, just not one which means we're interested in taking prices of around 10/3.

Tamim Iqbal

Anyone who remembers Tamim bludgeoning England's under-19 bowlers to all parts in 2007 will be disappointed that he has not delivered on such promise. His ability had the potential to inspire Bangladesh to tournament finals. But it hasn't happened.

There have been flashes of brilliance from him and his team. That's about it. Yet his ferocious and fearless cutting and pulling - not to mention consistent displays against England across all formats - has ensured he is always jolly for top Bangladesh bat.

Surprise, surprise he wins nothing like odds of around 11/4 would suggest. On win rate he should be as chunky as 4/1, something to bear with the possibility he'll continue to be prohibitively short with the absence of Shakib-al-Hasan (who, by the way, was never a bet either).

Neither will it be entirely surprising that Tamim is not the destructive force many would have you believe. He has a career strike rate in international of just 116. For an opener, it is an extremely poor return.


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