Ed Hawkins discusses an interesting top-bat conundrum in Lauderhill on Sunday and insists pure value provides the answer...
"There are some feelings in cricket betting which can make you feel like you’ve taken a terrible beating. It’s the sight of Kohli losing his wicket six short in a low chase denying an easy 3/1 top-bat winner"
Kohli versus Rohit
There are some feelings in cricket betting which can take some beating. It's the sight of Virat Kohli at the crease, oozing class and closing in on a low-score in a low chase for an easy 3/1 top-bat winner.
There are some feelings in cricket betting which can make you feel like you've taken a terrible beating. It's the sight of Kohli losing his wicket six short in a low chase denying an easy 3/1 top-bat winner.
What a punch in the gut. The initial reaction to such a sickener is to rail against the great man and to proclaim: never betting him again. I mean, really, fancy not being able to bust Rohit Sharma's 24. One would have thought that Kohli would have been particularly motivated to be top dog considering his falling out with Rohit (that's a joke by the way).
Emotion shouldn't get in the way, though, for game two. We bet Kohli again if he is value. And by that we mean if we can find a reason for believing his price of 5/2 top India bat by Sportsbook is wrong by a greater chunk than anyone else.
So what do the numbers say? Kohli has six wins in 19 in the last two years. This suggests he should be more like 85/40. That's 1.4 percentage points in our favour. That might not sound like a lot but considering Kohli's class and reliability it is rare indeed that we have any sort of edge with him.
Rohit is given a 13/5 rating. That's 27.8%. We rate him at 25%. So we have to retain faith in Kohli. That may well make you feel uncomfortable. It feels like we're chasing and, in such a short series, we could end up going round and round in circles.
West Indies have a deserved reputation for smashing sxies. In the ODI format, for example, no other team in the world has been as murderous. So it's no surprise that Sportsbook go 4/5 West Indies jollies for most sixes with India 7/5.
That's quite a gulf. Whether it should be as big is debateable, however. As the numbers below say. It is true that the Windies are more consistent six hiters but there's not a huge amount in it. It is possible to reckon India are with a nibble at the price.
Average sixes per match
Last 12 months - West Indies 6.5, India 5.8
Last two years - West Indies 6.6, India 6.3
Last three years India West Indies 6.7, India 6.2