Ed Hawkins does a deep data dive to reveal why the West Indies hitter is value in the IPL - plus a 35/1 wager.
"Pollard has been pushed out to 10/1 on this market. It could be perfect timing. On a slow and spin-friendly surface in Chepauk"
Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians
Saturday 17 April 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Sunrisers have suffered two defeats in two chases as their batting has flopped under pressure. Their perennial problem of an imbalanced batting line-up, prioritising anchor players over finishers, continues to haunt them.
They have options to remedy the situation. They could drop Jonny Bairstow and play Kane Williamson. Or they could promote Abdul Samad, a potential homegrown saviour.
Samad has the best boundary percentage in their top six and boasts a strike rate of 147 and runs per innings of 21. He batted at No 6 in defeat by Bangalore. Sportsbook are taking an almighty risky pricing him at 35/1.
Otherwise there is a dearth of value. David Warner has been price-boosted to 9/4 but we don't play for back-to-back winners. Bairstow is 16/5, mean in the extreme for someone who has been batting at No 4. Williamson is 7/2 but we'd want 4s on three-year win rate.
Top Sunrisers bowler
Jason Holder returned to the Sunrisers line-up against Bangalore, bowled at the death and claimed another return for punters on top bowler. He now has a 75% return rate, albeit in only eight games.
Sportsbook have not listed him but it would be fair to reckon he would slot in at the 10/3 mark. He should be skinnier with that role at the denouement all-important.
Kieron Pollard has been pushed out to 10/1 on this market. It could be perfect timing.
On a slow and spin-friendly surface in Chepauk, the data suggests that Mumbai's openers (market favourites Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock) could be a little ponderous.
Moreover, Pollard has sensational hitting records against Sunrisers' pace trio of Natarajan, Bhuv Kumar and compatriot Jason Holder. He does struggle for fast runs (but only one 'out') against Rashid Khan. But who doesn't?
More important is his win rate. In three years Pollard wins 11.7%. An edge of 2.6% at the odds.
With a return rate of 31%, Rahul Chahar is underrated for most wickets at 7/2. He destroyed Kolkata on this surface and should be in the wickets again. Krunal Pandya is almost a fancy at 9/2. We'd want an extra half point for next time please.
Pollard strike rates versus Sunrisers bowlers
Natarajan - 292
Kumar - 136
Hodler - 236
Rashid - 86.6
Read the Mumbai Indian v Sunrisers Hyderabad preview here
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l & COB Best Bets year end