Top batsman betting in a Test match can be very profitable but is admittedly, one of the betting markets that requires a fair bit of research and hard work.

And just as Alastair Cook and Virat Kohli didn’t become world class Test batsmen overnight, so it’s up to you to work on your game to make sure you can at the very least make sure you have one thing on your side: value when it comes to top batsman betting in Tests.


Which batsman to bet on in Test cricket?


What is the top batsman market?


It certainly helps to know what you’re actually betting on! If you’re betting on this market before the start of a Test match, it will apply to who will top score for each team the first time each team bats.

Don’t confuse it with the ‘top batsman in the match’ market. That one applies to which player scores the most runs across both innings and across both teams.

So if England are playing South Africa and the market is ‘England top batsman’ it’s asking who will top score for England the first time they bat, whether they bat first or South Africa do.


Indian customers can open an account with Royal Panda in order to bet on the top batsman market on all Test matches played around the world and can receive 2000 INR as a free bet when they sign up.



Top Batsman Betting: The favourites


One of the key differences between betting on a top batsman market in a Test match and in a limited-overs game is the importance of the position in which players bat. In limited-overs games the favourites almost always bat in the Top 3. That’s because bookies consider that if the Top 3 bat well, anyone coming in below them may simply not have enough time to challenge them for top batsman honours.

But in Test cricket the position where players bat is less important. That’s because everyone will get a bat eventually. Ok, so maybe a batsman chalked into bat at 7 may not have much of a chance to be at the crease long enough to challenge, especially if the tail doesn’t have a reputation for hanging around for long. But anyone batting in the Top Six is very much in the game. Players like the West Indies’ Shiv Chanderpaul in the past and Sri Lanka’s Angelo Matthews and Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza at present often top score for their team despite batting at six.

For the most part, the favourite or favourites are the team’s classiest act. And you can tell who that is by looking at their carer batting average. Even beyond runs scored and centuries scored, that’s normally the yardstick by which you measure a batsman’s true ability over the course of their career. After all, a purple patch across four or five Tests is all well and good but a proper batsman’s Test career should be judged over 50 or more Tests. And scoring a century every ten knocks is all well and good but if you’re getting out for less than 10 on the other nine occasions, you’re nohing if not inconsistent. that’s why the average is the one to look at.

So we’re talking Virat Kohli for India, Joe Root for England, Hashim Amla for South Africa and Kane Williamson for New Zealand.  You’ll notice that all of those bat at either three or four, further proof that you don’t need to open the batting in Tet matches to have every chance of top scoring for your side.


Betting Maestro recommends Betfair as the best site to place your top batsman bets.



Top Batsman Betting: Finding the value in Test matches


So we’ve established the favourite is probably the batsman with the highest career batting average but that’s not to say he’s going to top score, nor does it mean that they’re the value.

These are some of the factors you should consider before picking your man:

  • What sort of wicket will it be? A swinging ball in English conditions is very different to a spinning one in India or Bangladesh. Who’s got the best record in the conditions they’ll be playing in? For example, David Warner is a wonderful dashing opener who scores centuries for fun on the fast, bouncy wickets in Australia or New Zealand so he might be your go-to man there. But he has a poor record against spin, especially in India. So give him a miss when he’s playing on turning tracks.


  • Taking it a step further: who’s got a good record at that particular ground? Knowing a particular batsman likes playing in England is one thing but batting at Lord’s and at Trent Bridge are two very different prospects. Hashim Amla for example loves batting at Centurion and the legendary Don Bradman wishes he could have batted at Headingley every game. He averaged a barely believable 638 in Leeds, albeit from just two matches.


  • What’s the batsman’s record like against this particular team? Maybe it’s because playing a rival team brings out the best in them or maybe it’s because having scored runs against them in the past gives a batsman the confidence they can do it again. But some players have particularly good records against certain teams.


Take England’s Ian Bell, for example. Often criticized for not standing up and being counted against the toughest opponents like against Australia and India, it was a very different story against Bangladesh. In five knocks against them he was dismissed just twice. Amongst those five innings was an unbeaten 162 which contributed to Bell’s career average against them being 488. So rather than bemoan his record against other teams or hope he could replicate his record against the big boys by backing him, the betting strategy would be to back Bell…when he played Bangladesh.


  • Work out when it will be easiest to bat. At some grounds the openers will be playing when conditions are at their toughest. For example at Trent Bridge in Nottingham it can be extremely hard to bat when the ball is swinging on the morning of day one. Especially if Stuart Broad and James Anderson are bending it round corners! So you might want to give the openers a miss and go for players lower down the order. When the ball stops swinging so much it becomes easier to bat.


In India or Bangladesh the opposite is very often true: batting is often easiest at the beginning of the innings. The ball is hard, the wicket is true so it’s the best time to nudge the ball around and hit boundaries. After 40 or 50 overs the ball will get soft, start spinning and it becomes twice as hard to score runs. So in those conditions, it’s the openers or number three you should be considering for top batsman betting honours.



Betting Maestro Top Tip:


It’s rare for anyone batting lower than six to top score in a Test match. So when looking at a top batsman betting market, go through the six who are likely to play and rank them on as many factors as possible including: career average, average against that opposition, average at that ground, ability to play the predominant type of bowling they’ll be facing (seam/spin) and current form. Plus anything else you might think is relevant.

If the players coming out on top of your rankings are priced outside the favourites, you’ve got yourself a value bet.

And that’s not to say that those at the top of your list should be dismissed just because they’re favourites. If one player has scored better than any of the others according to your criteria and is 4.0 (3/1) favourite on the Betfair Sportsbook, that might be a perfectly good bet anyway.


Betting Maestro recommends Betfair as the best site to place your top batsman bets.


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