Hawk Eye - Australia v England Third Ashes Test: Dare we take on Starc?

Starc's performance quote is too high
Starc's performance quote is too high
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Ed Hawkins has all the stats and numbers you need for a sucecssfull punt in Perth, although you might need a slice of bravery, too...

"The pacey Perth wicket should suit Cummins as well and, unlike Starc, he has been underrated"

Recommended Bet
P Cummins over 111.5 performance points 5/6 (Sportsbook)

If Australia are to raze England in Perth as sides of yore have done, it is likely that Mitchell Starc will have a good game. He will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mitchell Johnson, who destroyed the tourists there last time.

There is no doubting that Starc is a serious performer and a major threat on the Waca wicket. But how far can we go in an assertion that he will hit the heights? And when do we suspend belief that statistics are king?

Sportsbook have us answering those questions by offering Starc at 5/6 over/under 140.5 player performance points. That's 20 points per wicket, 10 per catch and 1 per run.

Now, I bet your immediate reaction to that quote is 'get long...he'll beat that easily'. In Adelaide, Starc's performance make-up was 206. Prior to that game we mused on a quote of 130.5.

We thought it was too high. We think the Perth quote is too high. That's because Starc has an average performance make-up of 119 in his career. So a leap of more than 20 points tests our resolve to worship at the altar of numbers.

Before Adelaide, here is his full list of make-ups: 136/87/141/56/184/150/173/64/123/182/246/131/84/118/120/98/121/129/52/157/96/130/110/92/42/101/174/21/94/130/208/110/48/114.

The eagle-eyed will spot two things. Firstly, that Starc has only busted the 140.5 mark nine times. Ordinarily, that would be enough for us to hang our hat on. But, the second thing is that four of those have come in the last seven, which might suggest he is moving up a gear.

So, more numbers then. Starc averages 120 at home, 123 v England and 141 at Perth. The balance is most definitely with unders.

If going low is not for you, then maybe going high with Pat Cummins is the answer. The pacey Perth wicket should suit him as well and, unlike Starc, he has been underrated.

Over 111.5 is available at 5/6 and given that Cummins averages 114 in his career, albeit just seven Tests, it is possible to say that he is a value wager.

We wouldn't advise having both Starc and Cummins wagers, however, as that would be too close to, essentially, the same bet.

Recommended Bet
P Cummins over 111.5 performance points 5/6 (Sportsbook)

Warner's time

It's not often we would argue that Steve Smith is the wrong favourite as top Australia first-innings runscorer but it appears to be the case here.

David Warner has a tremendous record at the Waca and he should be level pegging with his skipper on the market. Smith is 9/4 with Sportsbook and Warner 11/4.

Warner has 803 runs in five matches at the venue compared to Smith's 368 in four. Warner has three tons and two fifties compared to Smith's two tons.

With the Waca wicket expected to give the least movement off all off the seam and through the air this probably represents Warner's best chance of a score. We have already tipped him for 38.5 first-innings runs or more in our match preview. But you may be interested in the 7/2 he scores a first dig ton and the 6/1 he's named man of the match.

Cook fried

Alastair Cook looks as though he is in decline. His body language just does not seem right and a top score of 37 (with two single-digit scores) so far suggests that his 150th Test could be one of his last. He looks in terrible touch.

That is why it was so surprising that Cook was not given crease time in this week's warm-up match, particularly as he got a duck on this pitch in the very first game of the tour. It was bizarre that he didn't get the chance to build confidence and rhythm.

The belief that Cook is on his way out is highlighted by Sportsbook's player performance quote over/under 75.5. It is way down on his average in the last 12 months of 84 and way off his career mark of 89.

But here's the thing. If we ignore Cook's 243 against a powderpuff West Indies attack in the summer, his average in the last 12 months is, in fact, 67. Similarly the first-innings over/under runs quote of 29.5 looks high.

Hawk-Eye P-L

Points staked: 23
Points p-l: +6.46
To 1pt level stakes

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