The Champions Trophy starts on Thursday in England and it could be a very short tournament for some top teams. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and one from Australia, New Zealand and even jollies England could be heading out early.
India, the holders, and South Africa, the No 1 -ranked side, need only pip Lanka and Pakistan. In the other section England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh face off.
So when perusing top-bat markets, it is worth wondering: is there value to be found by plumping for a batter from a team who will play only three matches?
Yes is the answer. Sri Lanka face a mighty stiff task to qualify for the semi-finals. They are high on youthful exuberance but low on knowhow of English conditions. Their main young thruster with the bat is Kusal Mendis, who has an excellent record over the last 12 months.
He is the eighth-highest runscorer in the world in the last 12 months and he gets joint-favourite billing with Angelo Matthews. Kusal is 5 (Stan James, Coral). Mathews is the same price with the same firms but Bet365 and Skybet also price him accordingly.
But Dinesh Chandimal could be the man to follow at 6 with Paddy Power. He has 326 runs in 11 innings in England in his career so that knowledge could be crucial over a short period. Sure, Mathews had a superior record of 456 in three more games but we think the gap is too big.
Elsewhere we must avail ourselves of the 3.75 (Paddy Power) that Mustafizur Rahman finishes as Bangladesh’s top bowler. He should love English conditions which will assist his extravagant movement through the air and decent pace.
The Fizz, as he is known, is one of the finest ODI bowlers in the world. Against the top eight teams in the world in the last 12 months no-one has better figures. He has the best average and economy rate. Okay, there are bowlers who have more wickets but nine of them are Bangladeshi. The Fizz is as short as 2.75 with Sports Winner and 3 in some places.