Keep faith with Malan and Rahul

India v England
Sunday 14 March, 13:30
TV: live on Sky Sports

Malan edge

There were a couple of ‘upsets’ on the tops in game one in Ahmedabad. Jason Roy and Jofra Archer took honours with bat and ball.

Upsets, you say! What are you talking about, man? Well, as bonkers as it sounds because of the ability of both men, Roy and Archer are not regular winners. This despite the fact that Roy, in the opening berth, has the opportunity to bat for longest and cheap runs in the powerplay while Archer can bowl with the new ball and at the death.

That was Roy’s only second win on two-year form. Likewise for Archer. Roy is 3/1 for a repeat in the second contest and Archer 11/4. If you had backed both in every game in the last two years to £10 level stakes at those odds (that price on Roy is actually a rarity) you would be up a tenner on Roy and down a fiver on Archer. Forgive us, then, if we swerve both.

We continue to keep the faith with Dawid Malan who is 7/2. On win rates he would be comfortably favourite. Check his extraordinary record below. We saw nothing in his first outing (24 from 20 balls) that suggests we should change our opinion.

Likewise we hold firm on KL Rahul, who was castled by Archer. It was a rare success for Archer against Rahul, who tucked into the Rajasthan Royals attack on both occasions in the last Indian Premier League. Sportsbook make Rahul 13/5, a chop from 10/3. But don’t be put off. Sportsbook had adjusted their price because they thought he would bat at No 3. On win rate, Rahul should be 1.5 implied probability points shorter.

Top India bat last two years wins/matches
Rohit 5/14
Rahul 5/19
Dhawan 3/14
Kohli 3/19
Pant 1/14
Iyer 2/19

Top England bat last two years wins/matches
Malan 6/15
Bairstow 5/19
Morgan 2/20
Buttler 1/9
Moeen 1/9
Stokes 1/7
Roy 2/7
Billings 1/8

Roy a boy

Sportsbook have long had a downer on Roy. Those who listen to Cricket…Only Bettor and our interviews with odds complier Stuart Conroy will know that he just doesn’t rate him. Hence the 3/1 that is available for top England bat.

We don’t disagree. Roy is, to borrow a phrase, a bit of a flat-track bully. Against the nuances of spin, or a sticky wicket, he can’t quite hit through the line with freedom. But when Roy is in form, he often makes it count. Roy’s runs have come in bunches in international cricket, preceded by a lean period. That’s why if you had taken Sportsbook’s over 23.5 at 5/6 you’d have won seven in the last 12.

If there was evidence the surface in Ahmedabad was hard for batters, spinners were to the fore and India were prepared to attack Roy with them from ball one it would probably a short. But there’s no evidence yet.

Top India bowler wins/matches last two years
Chahar 3 3t/12
Thakur 2 2t/16
Saini 2/10
Chahal 1 3t/14
B Kumar t/7
Bumrah 1 t/8
Natarajan 1 t/3
Shami 2t/5
Jadeja 1 2t/10
Washington 1 2t/20
Krunal 1/7
Hardik 1/6
T = ties

Top England bowler wins/matches last two years
Jordan 5 2t/20
Rashid 3 2t/19
Archer 2/8
T Curran 1 3t/19
S Curran 1 t/9
Wood t/9
Stokes 1 t/7

India v England series preview on Cricket…Only Bettor

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