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Hawkeye on West Indies v India First T20: For once, Kohli is value

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Ed Hawkins gets the stats sheet out to work out where the value is for the Florida match-up on Saturday...

"When the opportunity comes up to bet the best batsman in the world a point bigger than he should be, it should not be turned down even if we have worries about precisely where he will bat"

Don't get suckered by Rohit emotion

Check yourself. It could be all too easy to switch on to auto pilot for the first Twenty20 international between these sides in sunny Florida, a sun trap which encourages one to be lazy and to switch off.

Indeed, this column was geared up for a polemic about how watching Rohit Sharma bet for your supper is one of life's great pleasures. After his World Cup success when he pipped David Warner by a single for top runscorer we are more in love with the opener's cover drives and crease presence than ever before.

But it would be wrong to blindly show faith, even if we expect the Lauderhill wicket to be an absolute road. Rohit is, just about, a value bet for top India runscorer. The 7/2 that Sportsbook offer is, on our two-year data listed below, out by the slenderest of margins though.

That means we can be confident in selecting Virat Kohli as the man to follow. This is unusual. Ordinarily Kohli is too skinny in the market purely on reputation rather than how often he actually wins. He goes off at 3/1 (Sportsbook) for this one and we rate him a point shorter.

When the opportunity comes up to bet the best batsman in the world a point bigger than he should be, it should not be turned down even if we have worries about precisely where he will bat - three or four. There's a smidge of value on Shikhar Dhawan, too, at 7/2 but as the discrepancy is greater with Kohli we take the biggest edge, always.

For top West Indies bat we'd like to side with Evin Lewis. The opener has a good record and he has a century on this ground against this opposition. The problem is he has seven matches in the last two years and that's not great as a sample size. We're pushing our luck a little with Kohli, in truth, because 20 is ordinarily our qualifying point.

The same can be said of Nic Pooran. We suspect Pooran is going to be a superstar because of his ability to hit the ball out of the ground from ball one. We may well look back on the days that he was 4s and let out a sigh.

India - top bat wins/matches last two years
Rohit 7 1t/31
Kohli 6/18
SD 6 1t/26
KL 4/18
Jadav 1/1
Pandey 4/02
Vijay 1/

Top bowler wins/matches
Bumrah 2 3t/20
Bhuvi 2 3t/20
Kuldeep 5 3t/17
Chahal 5 4t/23
Ahmed2t/9
Hardik 2 t/19
Krunal 2/11
Siraj t/3
Axar t/4
Unadkat 2 t/9
Wash 1 t/7
Umesh 1/6

West Indies - top bat wins/matches
Lewis 3/7
Gayle 0/6
Fletcher 4/9
Samuels 1/8
Walton 1/7
Russell 2/4
Allen 1/8
Pooran 2 1t/8
Hope 1/11
R Powell 1/13
Brathwaite 1 1t/17
Holder t/3
Campbell t/4

West Indies - top bowler wins/matches
Williams 2 3t/9
Brathwaite 1 3t/17
Taylor 1 t/3
Cottrell 3 t/7
Badree 2t/10
Pierre t/3
Nurse 2t/9
Paul 2 2t/13
Emrit 2t/4
Powell t/14
Smith t/2
Allen 1 2t/9
Holder t/3
Bishoo t/2

Hawk-Eye P-L

2019 - points p-l: +46.77 (84.5 points staked)
2018 - points p-l: +9.86 (89 points staked)
2017 - points p-l: +5.29 (26 points staked)

Ed Hawkins,

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