CRICKET boff Josh Healey (@JoshHealey04) is back in business with a view on England’s top batsman ahead of the ODI series with South Africa.
South Africa v England ODI Series | 3rd-14th February 2016 | Top England Batsman
When prompted to consider a bet on England’s top batsman, it is likely that most punters would respond immediately with – Joe Root.
The Yorkshireman had a fine year; the buzz of expectation almost tangible amongst England fans every time he struts to the crease. It is fair to assume, then, that punters may be surprised at the lack of profit he has produced for backers.
Throughout 2015, Root claimed top batsman in just 2/20 ODIs (finishing second on four occasions), and failed to top the series run charts in any of the four he competed in. Undoubtedly a class act, but there’s no value to be had at the prices on offer (which range from 9/4 to 11/4).
But if superstar Joe Root hasn’t been delivering winning slips, then who has? Well, the most significant contributor has been the captain – Eoin Morgan.
It cannot be understated the immense job this man has done to help guide a young England team from perennial no-hopers – epitomised by a catastrophically embarrassing World Cup campaign – to aggressive, competitive entertainers.
A long overdue reformation in coaching and selection policy has undoubtedly played a major role in England’s rejuvenation, but Morgan has been the prominent run-getter, rediscovering his class, and not only justifying his selection as captain, but thriving off it.
Throughout 2015, Morgan top scored in 7/25 (28%) ODIs, but only include matches post-World Cup and that figure becomes an even more impressive 6/14 (42.86%). No surprise, then, that he notched top series runscorer in 2/5 series last year, or 2/3 post-World Cup.
The others to top the series charts were Ian Bell (twice) and, most recently, Jos Buttler. In terms of pure volume of runs, Morgan has scored 754 post-World Cup at a highly impressive average of 58.00 – 20.17 ahead of his overall career average. Clearly at the peak of his powers, who could argue against the captain holding value at 7/2 with Betway?
In England’s five ODI series last year, their leading runscorer averaged 51.46 per game (with second averaging 41.96), and top scored, on average, in 44.34% of games.
Ultimately, this means that in this five match series we are looking for Morgan to notch around 210-260 runs, including claiming top batsman on two occasions. The numbers confirm he is not only capable of achieving what is required, but perhaps even surpassing it.
Remember, Morgan averages 58.00 across the last three series, top scoring in 42.86% of games. Ever since the World Cup ended, he has been an entirely different player – back to his exhilarating best.
Having had two whole months to prepare for this tour, Morgan should be as sharp as ever. There will be an abundance of runs on offer on what are likely to be some beautiful batting wickets, and there is a good chance of the captain leading by example once again.
South Africa v England – Eoin Morgan top England batsman (4/1 Bet365)
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