Top batsman betting rules in ODIs are generally pretty straightforward but it’s really worth reminding ourselves of them…

Which batsman should you bet on in ODIs?


Top Batsman Betting Rules


The batsman scoring the most runs is the winner. In the off-chance that two or more players tie for the most number of runs whether in the same team (Top Batsman) or across both teams (Top Match Batsman), they will be dead-heated.  If the player you backed is dead-heated with one more player you’ll be paid out at half the odds, if it’s with two more players you’ll get paid out at a third of the odds. And so on. Unlike with what happens in a top bowler market where with some bookmakers it can go down to how many runs they conceded when tied for wickets, the top batsman betting rules will never make provisions where it goes down to strike rate or number of boundaries where two or more batsmen are tied. If they’re tied on runs, they’re dead-heated.

The other consideration is matches that have been reduced in overs by bad weather or other factors.


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Just how many overs need to be played for the bet to stand depends from one bookmaker to another but as regards our recommended one- the Betfair Sportsbook – this is the minimum number of overs:

    • Test Matches: 50 overs
    • County Championship: 50 overs
    • 50 over match: 25 overs
    • 40 over match: 20 overs
    • 20 over match: 10 overs

There are a few other Top Batsman Betting rules rules that are worth knowing about and they’re stated below:

  • In all cases, however, bets will stand if the innings reaches its natural conclusion in less than the above requirement. Bets placed on any player not named in the starting eleven are void.
  • Players named in the starting eleven that do not bat are deemed to have taken part and bets on any such players will be settled as losing bets.
  • For limited overs matches, should the winner already be unequivocally decided even if the innings were to be played out to its natural conclusion, the market will be settled as normal despite any reduction.

In other words: one of the most important factors in the top batsman betting rules is that if your man doesn’t play, the bet will be voided. If he’s in the team but doesn’t get a bat for whatever reason, that’s just hard luck.



Top batsman in ODIs


Top batsman betting in limited-overs matches can provide a good alternative to betting on the match outright. This is especially true when you think the team who’s favourite is unlikely to get beat and you don’t want to be betting no them at short odds-on. Conversely, very seldom is any batsman shorter than about 3.5 to be their team’s top batsman and you can very often find very lively runners priced at around 5.0 or 7.0 with every chance. Sometimes 20.0 shots come in.

A lot of what we’re looking for as top batsman material in limited-overs matches also applies in Test matches so have a read of what we discussed there, especially as regards certain batsmen performing best on a particular type of wicket (fast, seaming, spinning etc), a particular ground and playing a certain opposition.

But there are a few factors that are unique to limited-overs betting.



Batting position crucial in limited-overs



Think about the regular pattern that an ODI innings takes. The openers normally hit a few boundaries early on while the field is up. After all, if you pierce the in-field on the off-side, hit it down the ground, tickle it to fine leg or smack it through midweek it’s likely to find the rope. Assuming it’s a decent wicket rather than a very tough one, one or both of the openers normally gets to at least 50 and one may well kick on beyond that. A batsman coming in at three or maybe four may well have enough time at the crease to catch up and beat their score but players coming in at five or below often simply don’t have enough balls to top score, however well they play. So you can see why it pays to go with the openers or number three, although of course the odds reflect that.

It’s especially the case with a team like India. Their best batsmen are those in the Top 3 – Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. You may get long odds on players like MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane but that’s for a reason. Very often one of those in the top three gets to a century so no-one else really has a chance.

But it’s a very different story with sides like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies. They all have more suspect top order so it very often happens that they get out cheaply and someone batting at five or six is left to save the day.

All of the above is true of T20 cricket as well and with just 40% of the overs played in this format compared to ODIs, it’s even more true that it’s the openers who hold all the trump cards.


Bold basher or grinding grafter?


Think about an international batsman in ODI and they normally come into three categories.


The big stroke player/smasher-

These batsmen love good wickets where they can hit through the line  and smash good deliveries for six. Examples are Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch.

The grinder

These players know how to knuckle down on tough surfaces, rotating the strike with dabs, clips, nudges and well-run singles, slowly accumulating the runs. Ajinkjya Rhane, Sarfraz Ahmed and Kane Williamson all come under his category. Few players do this better in world cricket than New Zealand skipper Williamson.

You’ll often think watch him play and think ‘geez, when is he going to start playing some shots?’. And then the next time you look he’s raising his bat after getting to 50 and you’re reminded there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to getting runs.

The chameleons

Not an official cricketing term but these are the guys who best adapt to their surroundings, If big scores are on offer they’ll play boldly, if it’s going to be a slog getting to 50 they’ll be patient and not take risks. Steve Smith, Joe Root, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis are all good examples.

Try to work out what type of pitch it will be and therefore what type of batsman will thrive. Pre-match pitch reports, past scorecards and pre-match previews will all give you a clue.

Pitch dimensions and conditions

In some grounds like the Wanderers in Johannesburg or Bangalore, the grounds are small with short boundaries. This will allow boundary-hitters to score easily. Players like Glenn Maxwell, Alex Hales and Quinton de Kock will enjoy themselves.


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But some of the Australian grounds are huge, making boundaries harder to come by and meaning you need to accumulate runs with hard running, including a few threes.  Which players are fit enough to do this for 30 or 40 overs, especially if it’s hot and humid? Kohli (again) Joe Root, MS Dhoni, Ross Taylor and du Plessis are all extremely fit players who can last the distance if there’s lots of running to be had. They’re all also excellent players when it comes to finding gaps and adopting a horses for courses approach to batting on different grounds.

Get to know how different players deal with energy-sapping conditions.


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Betting Maestro Top Tip:

Unlike in Tests, the batting order in ODIs and T20s can sometimes change depending on the state of the match. For example, when India need someone to come in and smash the ball or build on a flying start rather than quietly accumulate they’ve often promoted Hardik Pandya up the order. It’s also happened with the likes of Harbhajan Singh or Andre Russell in the IPL.  Sometimes their cameo is enough to allow them to top score.

These players are often priced up as lower-middle order batsmen at say 12.0 or greater but if they come in much earlier they’ll have a much bigger chance than their pre-match odds would suggest. You’re always taking a risk because they may not get promoted at all and may not even come to the crease but sometimes it’s worth a gamble.

There’s another scenario where it could pay to go with lower-order batsmen, even if they’re not promoted. The West Indies have a flaky batting line-up at the best of times. Add to the equation what looks to be a very tricky pitch and they could soon find themselves 4 or 5 wickets down with not that many on the board and plenty of overs left to bat. When that happens, numbers 5, 6 or 7 like Jason Mohammad and Jason Holder could well top score with a score of 40 or 50. Holder in particular is very often available at odds of around 16.0 or bigger and has often come good at those of odds in the past.


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