Ed Hawkins previews the dead rubber from Providence, Guyana on Tuesday and reveals a heavy toss bias...
"In the six T20 internationals the top score batting first is 191. It's one of two scores of 140 or more"
West Indies v India
Tuesday 5 August 15.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Pooran stinks place out
Two defeats in two for the Windies. It doesn't seem to matter if the bowl first or bat first the result is the same. The latest loss in Lauderhill was perhaps more disappointing because they would have felt bang in the game at the halfway point, needing 168 to win.
But their batting again faltered with lightning zapping the ground threatening to frazzle them even more. They were eight for two with Evin Lewis and Sunil Narine both out. The latter promoted to open in a franchise copy strategy. That left Nic Pooran and Rovman Powell to rebuild.
Unfortunately Pooran took on his task too seriously. He managed a barely believable strike rate of just 55 to make Powell get a sweat on. Powell had to do it all on his own. His 34-ball 54 was impressive and would have been match-winning had Pooran contributed.
Earlier, Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas had underlined their pace and skill with two wickets apiece. The pair kept India in check when they were threatening 190.
India to make changes
Krunal Pandya and Rohit Sharma took the plaudits for India in game two. Krunal claimed the wickets of Pooran and Powell in the same over to seal the deal as the skies lit up. Rohit oozed class in his 51-ball 67.
It means that India have an unassailable lead and are likely to experiment here. At the very least we would expect KL Rahul to get a game with Rohit, who must be feeling the pinch after his exhaustive runscoring in the World Cup, due a rest. Shreyas Iyer may also be given the nod with Shikhar Dhawan struggling to time the ball.
We can also expect to see Deepak Chahar, the pacer, get a game with Bhuv Kumar likely to be given a day off while Rahul Chahar, the spinner, could get the nod ahead of Washington Sundar.
Providence is a venue which followers of the Caribbean Premier League will know well for a heavy toss bias. In the last 24 matches 17 have been won by the side batting second. The average first-innings score is just 135 and spinners love the surface, expertly squeezing teams who misjudge the track first up. We'll be looking to lay either team - but particularly the Windies given the number of spinners India could play if they do their homework - for 160 or more.
In the six T20 internationals the top score batting first is 191. It's one of two scores of 140 or more. Laying 160 or more could be available at around [2.20]. Sportsbook offer 7/4 that no fifty is scored. There have been three fifties in the last six at the venue.
Hosts need toss to go their way
West Indies were [2.90] for the win in the second match in Florida and we're going to need the same to consider them again. India are likely to be no better than [1.50]. That's not a particularly thrilling price considering the toss bias.
Clearly the smart strategy is to take big odds on the Windies if the toss goes their way. The hope would be that the pitch reduces the gulf, likewise India team changes. But it's not a big stake play. A coule opf points could be shaved off with the toss.
Hetmyer has form
Providence is Shimron Hetmyer's home CPL ground. He has two top-bat efforts in his last three. The fourth was a solid 48. He should know the vagaries of the pitch well enough to know what is and isn't required. The problem with a Hetmyer bet is we don't know where he will bat. I was No 5 in game one and No 6 in game two. That explains the 10/1 offered by Sportsbook for top Windies runscorer. Powell gets a 9/2 quote and Kieron Pollard 5s.
Keep it Kohli
Rahul is 4/1 for top India bat and we would be surprised if he didn't come in to open the batting. Iyer is 9/2 and there is a strong chance the two could be paired up front. Rohit has usurped Kohli as the favourite on the market with 13/5 playing 11/4. We have been on Kohli twice via Hawk Eye and we will double our stakes considering the price is still wrong. He's a 30% chance.
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. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Back West Indies batting second [2.70] 1pt
Back Virat Kohli top India bat 11/4 Sportsbook (1pt)