Hawkeye on West Indies v Australia First T20: Don't miss pretty Polly

Kieron Pollard
Pollard is the man

Ed Hawkins uncovers one of the biggest edges for punters on the top-bat market for Saturday's West Indies v Australia T20 action from St Lucia...

"Pollard dominates this market in the last two years. With seven wins from 23 he has the sort of hit rate associated with an opening bat."

(1pt) Back Kieron Pollard top West Indies bat 7.5013/2

Outstanding value

Kieron Pollard picked up another top-bat win for West Indies against South Africa in their five-match series. And we will be backing him again for this one at whopping odds.

In fact, we'll back Pollard in every match unless we see something alarming in technique or temperament. Pollard plays a floating role for the Windies. He will bat at number five or six. He could even bat as high as four.

And that is something of a nightmare for the odds compilers. It explains why he is available at an inflated 13/2.

As you can see from the data below, Pollard dominates this market in the last two years. With seven wins from 23 he has the sort of hit rate associated with an opening bat. Indeed, look at Evin Lewis's return of five wins in 19.

Lewis is in a rich vein of form. He also offers punters an edge of a very healthy 3.2% at odds of 10/3. Lendl Simmons is another danger at 7/2, although his study sample is slightly skinnier. If it is hard to split the trio, what we do know is that Chris Gayle should not be sharing joint-favourite status with Lewis.

When faced with three solid value wagers, what do we do? We go with the player who gives us the greatest difference between implied probability and win rate. And that is Pollard with Sportsbook giving up a massive 17 points. It is one of the biggest in the history (admittedly very short) of analysing the data in this way. Pollard also has an insane record at the venue. In 13 innings he averages 90 and strikes at 177.

West Indies top bat wins/matches last two years
Pollard 7/23
Lewis 5/19
Hetmyer 1/19
Gayle 0/7
Simmons 5/13
King t/11
Allen 1/14

West Indies top bowler wins/matches last two years
Cottrell 4t/17
Narine t/3
Thomas 3 2t/8
Paul 2t/7
KOK 2 3t/8
Pierre 1 t/7
Edward t/4
Walsh t/8
Pollard 1 3t/24
Bravo 2 2t/13
Allen 1 3t/14
OB 3 2t/8
Sinclair t/6
Holder t/12

Little six appeal

As discussed in our match preview, we expect runs to be scored on a wicket which has been flat and true. Are there fours and sixes markets worth playing?

Sportsbook go over/under 14.5 sixes at 8/11 and even money respectively. Six of the last 11 would have had buyers at that quote in clover.

The edge could be on boundary fours. Perhaps highlighting the short boundaries (with fours turned into maximums), going under Sportsbook's quote of 24.5 at 4/5 would have returned wins eight times on the study period.

Call for the AA

The Australia tops markets (bat and ball) are quite hard to decipher. It's a second-string Aussie XI and, as you can see from the win rates below, there has been an clear lack of consistency in selection in the bowling unit.

There is only one guarantee about how Australia line-up. And that is skipper Aaron Finch opening the batting. Perhaps aware that punters will swerve the Aussie markets because of the confusion, credit to Sportsbook for boosting Finch's price to 10/3. That gives us more than three points on win rate so we're happy to have an interest.

Finally we're all over Ashton Agar's price of 5/1 for top Australia bowler. It's a bet as good as Pollard's. Ashton has been terrifically consistent recently and is now considered the player who balances the entire XI.

Australia top bat wins/matches last two years
Warner 6/11
Maxwell 1/13
Finch 5/19
Smith 2/15
Wade 3/12
M Marsh 1/9
Stoinis 1/9
Philippe 0/5

Australia top bat wins/matches last two years
A Agar 4 3t/17
Zampa 2 3t/19
Starc 2t/12
Cumins 2t/10
K Richardson 4 3t/17
Maxwell t/13
Henriques t/3
Sams 2t/
Tye 1t/2
Swepson 1 t/3
J Richardson 1/5
Meredith 1/3
Stanlake 2t/2
Hazelwood 0/2
t=tie


Decoding Australia's T20 failings on Cricket...Only Bettor


Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +33.95
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l

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