Time for The Hitman to strike



India v England
Thursday 18 March 13.30
TV: live on Sky Sports

Toss important for hitters

The importance of the toss has been highlighted in our match odds preview here. But it has to be said that it also pays to be aware of how it impacts the top bat markets. Runscoring is easier second time around because of the dew factor and there is a feeling that it particularly assists the openers who like pace on the ball and love bowlers losing their line.

Jos Buttler’s destructive innings in game three and Ishan Kishan’s demolition job in game two are examples. Still, we also note how the team batting first are going to have to change strategy and go hard – at least in the first powerplay – to propel them to 170 or more to try to reduce the impact of dew.

Could this give Rohit Sharma licence to go on the attack? We tipped him for success in game one but he was rested. Now returned to the XI and confirmation that he will open (either alongside Rahul or Kishan), we should go back in at Sportsbook’s 13/5. Rohit’s win rate in the last two years is an impressive 33.3%/ That gives us a nice chunk in comparison to Sportsbook’s implied probability of 27.8%.

If India bat first they are now surely aware they cannot be timid against Messrs Archer and Wood and need to hit them out of line and length. And if they chase, the wet ball should assist in easy runs. Rohit’s talent and temperament makes him the perfect man for either job. It also helps us that Rahul, who we have had to ditch because of diminished win rates, is low on confidence.

For England, we keep faith with Dawid Malan, even though his price has been harshly cut from 7/2 to 10/3. It is still a wrong price on win rate and he is overdue. We will probably back him in game five, too, if he doesn’t win. Why the faith? Well, if he continues to be chalked up at wrong odds we have to take them, regardless of the number of wagers struck.

Top India bat last two years wins/matches
Rohit 5/15
Rahul 5/21
Dhawan 3/14
Kohli 5/21
Pant 1/16
Iyer 2/21
Kishan 1/2

Top England bat last two years wins/matches
Malan 6/17
Bairstow 5/21
Morgan 2/22
Buttler 2/11
Moeen 1/9
Stokes 1/9
Roy 3/9
Billings 1/8

Marvellous margins

All three matches have been won by the chaser in this series (wins by eight wickets, seven wickets and eight wickets) and as discussed in Cricket…Only Bettor (see below), there is a burgeoning toss bias for the team batting second on the Asian sub-continent.

Are there are other ways to make it pay? Yes. Sportsbook handily price up winning margins. Using what has come before in this series we can take a nibble on big numbers for something similar, although bear in mind you must keep stakes sensible and level across several prices. And they are ones to place pre-toss because of the likelihood of a chop.

India by seven wickets or 61-70 runs is 22-1, India by eight or 71-80 is 25-1, and they are the picks for the home team. For England go for the same margins and prices (22-1 and 25-1 respectively). We suggest 0.5pt wagers on each. With such whopping odds at play, India or England by six wickets (or 51-60 runs) are also worth a bite at 14/1 each.

Top India bowler wins/matches last two years
Chahar 3 3t/12
Thakur 2 3t/18
Saini 2/10
Chahal 1 4t/16
B Kumar t/9
Bumrah 1 t/8
Natarajan 1 t/3
Shami 2t/5
Jadeja 1 2t/10
Washington 1 4t/22
Krunal 1/7
Hardik 1/7
T = ties

Top England bowler wins/matches last two years
Jordan 5 3t/22
Rashid 3 2t/21
Archer 2/10
T Curran 1 3t/20
S Curran 1 3t/11
Wood 1 t/10
Stokes 1 t/9

**

Is Rohit king of the tops? This week on Cricket…Only Bettor