Cricket Betting

Nov 8, 149 days ago

England v India First Test preview

Having drawn a two match Test series in Bangladesh, England now face much tougher prospect – a five match series on the tough pitches of India.
The tourists’ performance in Bangladesh raised a number of questions and the selectors have had some tough decisions to make as they prepare to face the top ranked Test team in the world. India are an excellent side and are the clear favourites in the betting. Keep reading for our England v India first Test preview.

England look to improve after Bangladesh collapse

A defeat to Bangladesh in the second Test was hardly the ideal preparation for a five match series against the best side in the world. England lost the match in Chittagong by 108 runs, having collapsed from 100-0 to 164 all out, chasing a target of 273.
It was Bangladesh’s first Test win over England and captain Alistair Cook blamed a lack of practice on Asian pitches for the result. He said: “Maybe we showed our inexperience, in one sense, in sub-continent conditions in terms of batting. I was just looking around the dressing room at how much cricket people have played in the sub-continent and it is not a huge amount.
“I don’t think we should have been chasing 270. We bowled OK but there were chances that we needed to take.”
Neither England nor India have played a Test before in Rajkot and Cook is the only member of England’s squad to have batted there – in a ODI in 2013.
Lancashire teenager Haseeb Hameed will make his debut in Rajkot with England still struggling to find reliable top-order batsmen. Hameed becomes just the second teenager to play for England since 1949 after averaging 52 in this year’s County Championship.
Ben Duckett retains his place after the Bangladesh Tests and he will replace Gary Ballance at number four with Ballance having scored just 24 runs in four innings in Bangladesh.
Stuart Broad is set to return to the bowling attack to win his 100th Test cap although James Anderson will miss the match as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.
Of course England won the last Test series in India despite losing the opening match by nine wickets. Cook’s side are 9/2 to take a 1-0 lead in Rajkot.

India looking to consolidate places at top of Test rankings

India currently lead the Test rankings after an excellent run which has seen them unbeaten in their last 12 Test matches. They have beaten South Africa and New Zealand in their last two home series and go into this match as the clear 4/9 favourites.
Captain Virat Kohli has some injury problems ahead of the match. First choice opener KL Rahul has hamstring trouble, Shikhar Dhawan broke his thumb in the Kolkata Test against New Zealand, and Rohit Sharma will head to London next week for treatment on his thigh.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya could be set to make his Test debut in Dajkot. Coach Anil Kumble said: “Whether it is a short glimpse in T20s, or even in the [New Zealand] one-dayers when he bowled in Dharamsala and batted in Delhi, we could see that he is a quality player and that’s why we have backed him to get him into the Test squad because we understand the importance of an allrounder, the importance of a fifth bowler.
“If someone can bowl 140 and give you the option of batting really well lower down the order, that’s a great option to have. So we are really looking forward to seeing how Hardik develops.”
The selectors could also call on uncapped batsman Karun Nair who averages more than 52 in first-class cricket, and has started the current season with scores of 74, 54*, 53 and 145.
India are in excellent form and can win the opening Test at 8/15.

England v India betting

Aug 11, 238 days ago

England v Pakistan Fourth Test preview

England v Pakistan Fourth Test preview

After a terrific victory in the third Test at Edgbaston – a triumph which Alistair Cook called ‘one of my better wins’ – England go into the fourth Test at the Oval knowing that if they avoid defeat they will win the series.
It’s the final home Test of the summer and England will be looking to go out on a high. Keep reading for our England v Pakistan fourth Test preview.

England looking to build on impressive victory

It is rare these days that a Test match goes into a fifth day, but England used up all but 13 overs of the final day at Edgbaston to record an impressive 141 run victory over Pakistan.
Having declared on 445-6, England set the visitors a nominal 343 to win, but bowled Pakistan out for 201 with the wickets being shared equally between five bowlers. The performance saw Moeen Ali named man of the match and James Anderson return to the top of the Test bowling rankings.
It was only the sixth time in history that England have won a Test match after trailing by more than 100 runs in the first innings.
England captain Alistair Cook said: “It was great character from the guys to come back and bowl like we did. We batted well in the third innings – to wipe out that deficit on that third evening was massive.”
After the win, which put England 2-1 up in the four match series, the home side named an unchanged squad of 13 for The Oval. Adil Rashid and Jake Ball are the two men seeking inclusion in the starting XI while James Vince has been cleared to play after a scan on a finger injury sustained attempting to take a catch in the slip cordon revealed no fracture.
England could climb to number one on the Test rankings with a win – although other results need to go their way – and they looked in terrific shape during the second half of this match. Cook’s side are just 8/15 to wrap up a 3-1 series win.

Pakistan looking to level the series

After a solid morning at Edgbaston on the final day, Pakistan looked as if they may comfortably draw the match to take the series into a deciding Test. However, England’s bowlers were excellent after lunch, with the visiting captain Misbah ul-Haq admitting the spell from Anderson and Finn ‘broke the backbone of our team’.
One bright spot from the defeat was the performance of opening batsman Sami Aslam. The 20 year old was playing just his third Test match but followed up his first innings 82 with a composed 70, facing 167 balls and hitting 11 boundaries.
The young opener was surprisingly composed for a player of his age, adding 73 for Pakistan’s second wicket with Azhar Ali after Mohammad Hafeez pulled Stuart Broad to fine-leg.
The visitors have announced their limited overs squad ahead of the one-day and T20 fixtures this summer, but despite a number of changes for the short form matches they are expected to field a similar side in the final Test of the series.
ul-Haq’s side are 4/1 to win at the Oval.

England v Pakistan Fourth Test betting

Aug 5, 610 days ago

England v Australia – 4th Test preview

England v Australia – 4th Test preview

England’s eight wicket win at Edgbaston gave them a vital 2-1 lead in this summer’s Ashes series. The two teams head to Trent Bridge this week with the home side knowing that a win would regain the little urn.

Keep reading for our fourth Test preview.

England can win the Ashes with a victory in Nottingham

England’s win at Edgbaston put them 2-1 up in the five-match series and a victory at Trent Bridge – generally a happy hunting ground for English cricket – will see the home side regain the Ashes. Their win in the third Test was a team effort but it was one of the country’s ‘forgotten men’ that made the decisive contribution.

Steven Finn recorded his best Test match figures, eventually taking eight wickets. The tall bowler was named man of the match at Edgbaston and afterwards reflected on his return to the side. He said: “This week has been fantastic and I’m thoroughly enjoying Test cricket again. There were a few nerves in the first few balls and you question yourself but after that it was focusing on getting people out.

“It is as nice a feeling as I have ever had taking a wicket [dismissing Steve Smith in the first innings]. It is the most I have ever celebrated a wicket. I did doubt at times if I’d play again but knew I could be good enough again. To be stood here now, there is no better feeling.”

Finn is likely to keep his place at Trent Bridge as England are forced into one change. Record wicket-taker James Anderson will miss the match through injury and his place will probably go to the returning Mark Wood, although Liam Plunkett and Mark Footitt have been added to the squad as cover.

Adam Lyth keeps his place despite scoring just 72 runs in his last six innings while Ian Bell scored two half centuries at Edgbaston and will continue as England’s number three.

Australia need to recover quickly to salvage the series

A week is a long time in cricket. After performing so dominantly at Lord’s the tourists were poor at Edgbaston, eventually losing by eight wickets in under three days.

Captain Michael Clarke’s own form is poor and he was at a loss to explain his side’s disappointing showing. He said: “It’s very hard to explain. Credit has to go to England, they bowled well on day one and we didn’t bat anywhere near we’d have liked. I still would have batted first, you can see the wicket has deteriorated.

“It swung and seamed throughout the whole game. We probably had the best batting conditions, we just didn’t execute with bat and ball.”

Despite being Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the series, Josh Hazlewood could find his place under threat in Nottingham. Peter Siddle took eight wickets the last time he played in a Test in Nottingham and as his home county ground for the past two seasons he bowled accordingly with 24 wickets at 24.43 in five matches.

Batsman Adam Voges could lose his place to left-hander Shaun Marsh while there will be intense focus on captain Michael Clarke whose days as a Test cricketer seem to be coming to an end. Clarke is likely to drop to number five in the order to accommodate Marsh and another failure with the bat – and a defeat – could signal the end of his first-class career.

Verdict

England’s summer of inconsistency continues. Their record in the last seven Tests reads WLWLWLW and if this continues they can expect a defeat in Nottingham followed by a win at the Oval to take the series.

However, the pitch at Trent Bridge is likely to be similar to that at Edgbaston and the home side have a good record at the beautiful riverside ground. A win would secure the Ashes and I expect Alistair Cook’s side to prevail at 2/1.

Cricket Betting

Jul 27, 619 days ago

England v Australia – 3rd Test preview

England v Australia – 3rd Test preview

The Ashes series is finely poised ahead of this week’s third Test at Edgbaston. Australia recovered from their defeat in Cardiff to post and emphatic 405 run victory at Lord’s and the tourists are the favourites to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Keep reading for our third Test preview.

England looking to bounce back from defeat at Lord’s

Just a few days after their excellent win in Cardiff, England’s team toiled and failed, slipping to a dispiriting 405 run defeat at Lord’s. With the bowlers struggling on a slow pitch and the batsmen once again falling cheaply it has led to a lengthy post mortem ahead of the third Test.

In the end the selectors made just one change – Jonny Bairstow comes in for Gary Ballance – but there are other England players whose places are at risk, most notably Ian Bell who will play on his home pitch this week.

Bell has scored just 117 runs in his last six Tests at an average of 10.63 and knows that his place in the side is being closely scrutinised. He told the BBC: “It’s a brutal environment, international sport. You have to perform. I’m realistic enough to know that I haven’t played to the best of my ability in the last two months.”

Bell has posted scores of 1, 60, 1 and 11 in the series so far but despite his poor form the 33 year-old will bat at number three at Edgbaston to accommodate Bairstow.

“For me it’s about performing,” Bell added. “Whether you’re batting three, four or five you’ve got to score hundreds and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

“People wrote us off for this Test series, said it was going to be 5-0, but we performed brilliantly in Cardiff. We were poor at Lord’s but there’s no reason why we can’t turn it round at Edgbaston.”

Australia in confident form ahead of Edgbaston Test

Australia dominated every aspect of the match at Lord’s and captain Michael Clarke will be delighted with the form of his team heading into the third Test.

World number one batsman Steve Smith scored 213 in the first innings and by hitting 58 off 48 balls in the second innings  he became the first Australian to score a double hundred and a fifty in the same Ashes Test since Don Bradman in 1934. Chris Rogers scored 173 in the first innings and is set to play in Birmingham having recovered from the dizzy spells which affected his performance at Lord’s.

Wicketkeeper Peter Nevill took seven catches on his debut and is set to keep his place while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh scored some vital runs and took three wickets.

Pace bowler Mitchell Starc believes that his team are on top heading into the third Test. He said: “[England] are searching for some form after Lord’s and have made a change with Gary Ballance out. They’ve brought in Jonny [Bairstow], who has scored a lot of runs in county cricket this year so far. Whenever you make the opposition make changes, it shows you’re on top. It’s about staying there and really pushing that home this week.”

Verdict

The defeat at Lord’s once again highlighted England’s inconsistency, although the pitch didn’t help. James Anderson went wicketless for the first time in 59 Tests and the groundsmen at Edgbaston have been told to prepare a ‘more English pitch’ for this match.

What England really need is for their top order to find some form. They have been three down for 52 or fewer in nine of their past 14 innings, putting pressure on the young shoulders of Joe Root and Ben Stokes. If the top order can get some runs on the board then England will think they have a chance.

The home side lost the Lord’s Test by 239 runs in 2005 before bouncing back with a narrow victory at Edgbaston. It’s 10/3 that they win here but the smart money is on Australia at 4/5.

Cricket Betting

Jul 16, 630 days ago

England v Australia – 2nd Test preview

England v Australia – 2nd Test preview

There were a lot of differing predictions ahead of the first Test in Cardiff but no-one really expected England to win the match comfortably. The home side were excellent in their 169 run win and continued Australia’s surprisingly poor recent record in this country.

There’s not much time for the Aussies to lick their wounds ahead of this week’s second Test at Lord’s. Keep reading for our Second Test preview.

England hoping to take excellent form into second Test

It was a great few days for England in Cardiff. In simple terms, Alistair Cook’s team batted, bowled and fielded better than Australia and they fully deserved their 169 run victory. England have now won six of their last nine Test matches and the doom and gloom that surrounded the team after the World Cup seems to have been entirely lifted.

Unsurprisingly England have named the same squad of 13 players for the second Test at Lord’s and, injuries permitting, will no doubt play the same eleven. The only likely choice to make is around the batting order where Ian Bell and Gary Ballance could change places in the order to break-up the sequence of left-handed batsmen. Both scored 61 runs in the match and Bell could be promoted to number three in the order this week.

Joe Root continued his excellent form with innings of 134 and 60 – and two vital wickets – while Moeen Ali scored a terrific first innings and counted David Warner, Steve Smith, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin among his bowling victims.

England captain Alistair Cook was delighted with the win but sounded a note of caution that it was still early days in the series. He said: “It’s fantastic to win the first game. It was so important that we matched them straight away in the series. I think we have done more than that.

“But this is just one Test and one win. It’s a great start but that’s all. We must use it to play and perform even better at Lord’s, We’ve set a benchmark for ourselves in terms of standards and we have to keep living up to them.

“It’s a very quick turn around with the second game on Thursday so although I’m thrilled with everything now, we quickly have to get back to work and focusing on the next challenge,” he added.

Australia facing questions after defeat in opening match

The tourists were the 5/6 favourites to take a 1-0 win in this Ashes series but they were comprehensively outplayed by England and have now won just one of their last 11 Ashes tests in this country.

Captain Michael Clarke acknowledged that his side were second best. He told Australian TV: “I think we were outplayed in all three facets of the game, to be honest. England batted really well on day one, obviously we didn’t hold our catches – England did that, and then our batting obviously let us down in both innings.

“So overall I think we were outplayed in this game, we look forward to making amends in the second Test.”

Question marks remain about several of the Australian team, not least from some of their batting performances. Michael Clarke has only scored over 50 once in the last 12 months while Shane Watson’s place must be under threat with youngster Mitchell Marsh waiting in the wings. Australia have no Test hundred from their 6th to 11th batsmen since January 2013 and their second innings capitulation must have bothered coach Darren Lehmann.

In addition, the Aussies’ will head to Lord’s with three of their bowling line-up having never played there before. Their one man with Lord’s experience, Mitchell Johnson, has taken just four wickets in two Tests (against England in 2009 and Pakistan in 2010) for an average of 76 and an economy rate of almost five runs per over.

Verdict

Lord’s could be the perfect venue for England. Since Australia won the first Test of the 2005 series there, they have lost only to South Africa and India in 19 matches and have won nine of the past 13 games.

High on confidence there is more to come from England with Alistair Cook, Adam Lyth and Jos Buttler all capable of scoring more heavily than they did in Cardiff. Australia’s bowling options are limited and so it could be worth backing England to take a 2-0 lead at 7/4.

Cricket Betting

Jul 8, 638 days ago

England v Australia – 1st Test preview

England v Australia – 1st Test preview

Just as in 2009, Sophia Gardens is the venue for the first match in this year’s Ashes series. An enthusiastic crowd saw a draw in Cardiff six years ago and England captain Alistair Cook would probably take a similar result in you offered it to him now.

Australia are the odds-on favourites to win both the match and this summer’s Ashes series. Keep reading four our First Test preview.

Australia looking to ‘enjoy’ this year’s Tour

Things began well for Australia last time they began an Ashes series in Cardiff. They declared on 674 to force a draw in the opening Test in 2009 and looked to be in good form with captain Ricky Ponting scoring 150. Of course they then lost the series 2-1, proving that much can happen over the course of an Ashes summer.

Just three of the team that drew in Cardiff in 2009 are set to start the first Test this year and there are question marks over all three. Michael Clarke has only scored over 50 once in the last 12 months, Brad Haddin has just one Test 50 since the 2013/14 Ashes series and Mitchell Johnson’s visits to these shores haven’t been anywhere near as effective as his performances on home soil.

Despite having won just one of the last 10 Ashes Tests in the UK, spinner Nathan Lyon says that the party are looking forward to a ‘much more enjoyable’ tour than two years ago. He said: “The build-up in England has been quite exciting. It’s the pinnacle for an Australian cricketer to play an Ashes series in England.

“We haven’t won a series in England for 14 years so I’m pretty keen to take the Ashes home.”

England looking to take spirit of recent New Zealand matches into first Test

On paper, one Test series win in the last five doesn’t look like the best form to be taking into an Ashes series. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story considering Alistair Cook’s side have won five of their last eight Test matches and have played well in patches along the way.

Three wins over India last summer shouldn’t be forgotten, and England have also beaten the West Indies in the Caribbean and New Zealand at Lord’s this year. The win over New Zealand was particularly promising considering the desperate early trouble that England were in and the same grit could well be required this summer.

England’s squad for the first Test includes five players who have never made an Ashes appearance. Liam Plunkett’s injury and the absence of Mark Footitt means that Adil Rashid could make his Test debut in Cardiff while Steven Finn has been recalled after some good recent performances. Mark Wood’s pace can trouble the tourists whilst Moeen Ali, Adam Lyth and Jos Buttler are all set to play having never faces Australia before.

Verdict

I fully expect England to win at least one of the Ashes Tests this summer – but can they get the measure of the Australians this early in the series? The tourists have shown some good form in their warm-up matches and youngsters Josh Hazelwood and Mitch Marsh could be the stars of the series.

Knowing exactly how England will react is hard to predict. They could continue their excellent offensive form and really trouble Australia, or their young team could be blown away by an experienced opponent. Australia look good value at 5/6 to tale a 1-0 lead.

Cricket Betting

Jul 3, 643 days ago

2015 Ashes preview

2015 Ashes preview

One of sports great rivalries is renewed this summer as England face Australia in the Ashes. Having won a highly entertaining one-day series against New Zealand, the home side are in good form heading into the five Test series although Australia arrive with a highly experienced line-up.

Keep reading for our Ashes series betting preview.

England’s 2015 performances give cause for optimism

It’s been a terrific couple of months for English cricket – and their recent upturn in performance couldn’t have come soon enough. The one-day series win over New Zealand came after a couple of encouraging Test performances against the Black Caps and the form of some of England’s key players has been good.

England captain Alistair Cook says that a series win this summer would represent the highlight of his career and believes his one-day team-mates can propel his side to victory. “English cricket feels good at the moment,” Cook said. “Being away from the international game for a couple of weeks while the one-dayers have been on, the way Eoin and Paul [Farbrace] have led that team, the cricket they have played has been fantastic to watch.

“I couldn’t have been more proud. Five or six of those guys who were heavily involved in that team are going to be heavily involved in the Ashes and absolutely we can use some of that.”

It’s a young but experienced side with 13 of the initial squad having played for England before. Derbyshire seamer Mark Footitt is the only uncapped played to be named in England’s squad for the pre-Ashes training camp where they will get to formally meet new coach Trevor Bayliss for the first time.

Experienced Australia side the 4/11 favourites to retain the Ashes

Australia’s opening warm-up game of their tour of England could hardly have gone better. Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh scored hundreds, Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson made half-centuries and the wickets were shared between all six bowlers.

The tourists beat Kent by 255 runs and play one more warm-up match ahead of the first Test at Sophia Gardens.

It’s an experienced Australian line-up, to the point where former pace bowler Jason Gillespie labelled the team a ‘Dad’s Army’ in reference to the fact that 10 of their 17-man squad are aged over 30. Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin are both 37 while Ryan Harris and Adam Voges are 35. This is in stark contrast to England whose likely starting line-up will feature just two players over the age of 30.

Pace bowler Mitchell Johnson terrorised England in the last Ashes series, taking 37 wickets, and is likely to be joined in the line-up by Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle. Steve Smith’s transformation from a nervous number six to one of the world’s greatest batsmen is nothing short of remarkable and captain Michael Clarke has some interesting choices to make, not least between stalwart Shane Watson or 23 year-old all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.

Verdict

Two months ago you’d have given England very little hope of winning this summer’s Ashes. Now, though, they look as if there has been a sea change in mentality and that they will come out positively and looking for runs. Captain Alistair Cook has pointed to the morning of the first Test against New Zealand as a turning point (England were 30/4 before Joe Root and Ben Stokes put on 161 in 32 overs) and he has the luxury of a team largely in form with both bat and ball.

Australia have a highly experienced side and, of course, whitewashed England down under in the last series. However, it’s worth remembering that the Aussies haven’t won an Ashes in England since 2001 and that they have only won two of the last 15 Ashes Test matches in this country.

The visitors are the 4/11 favourites to win the series but England look great value at 4/1.The home side are 12/1 to win the series 2/1.

Cricket Betting

Apr 29, 708 days ago

England v West Indies – 3rd Test preview

England v West Indies – 3rd Test preview

After some disastrous performances in recent months, England returned to winning ways in Antigua in the second Test. They defeated the West Indies by nine wickets on a lifeless pitch, mainly thanks to an inspired session by paceman Jimmy Anderson who had a hand in all six wickets that fell in one morning session.

The two teams now move to Barbados for the final match in this three Test series. Keep reading for our preview.

England looking to maintain momentum ahead of summer Ashes challenge

While England may have been pretty hopeless in the shorter formats in recent months, their Test performances have been pretty good, as former captain Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports. “England have won four of their last five Test matches, they’ve drawn one and they are third in the world so they are playing good Test match cricket.

“But this was something different – the way they turned the game around and won this Test out of nowhere was quite remarkable. The sheer will of the team and one person in particular, Jimmy Anderson, turned it around and notched up another Test victory for England,” he said.

England captain Alistair Cook will no doubt be delighted not just by his own return to form – two half centuries took him to second place in England’s all-time Test run-scorer list – but also of the form of some of his team mates.

Joe Root was named man-of-the-match for the 182 not out he scored in England’s first innings while Gary Ballance became the third fastest Englishman to score 1,000 Test runs – his 17 innings tally only bettered by Herbert Sutcliffe (12) and Len Hutton (16).

A concern remains about the returning Jonathan Trott at the top of the order and, with the Ashes ahead, the management could call on young Yorkshireman Adam Lyth for the third Test. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid and seamer Liam Plunkett could also come into contention.

West Indies looking to level the series

West Indies captain Dinesh Ramdin was happy that his team ‘fought hard for the first four days’ but was disappointed that his team could not score more runs, eventually losing the second Test by nine wickets.

The Windies skipper is hoping the pitch in Bridgetown will be helpful to both batsman and bowler. He said: “So far we got two good pitches that went right down to the last days as the test match went. Hopefully the grounds man could give us something like that that could bounce and spin more or something.

“That’s is quick and fiery and both teams will have good use of it because both teams have good fast bowlers as well”.

Seamer Jason Holder is hoping to be fit for the deciding Test having been stretchered off during the second innings in Grenada. Ramdin is confident he can recover in time, adding: “It’s just a slight injury. Hopefully he can rest up for the next few days and come back stronger.”

Verdict

England have a 1-0 lead and anything but defeat will see them win the series. With confidence appearing to return and considering how well they bowled on a lifeless pitch in Grenada things bode well for England and they are 4/6 to win the third Test and take the series 2-0.

Cricket Betting

Mar 27, 741 days ago

2015 Cricket World Cup Final preview

2015 Cricket World Cup Final preview

For the second successive time, the cricket World Cup final will feature the co-hosts of the tournament. Australia will face New Zealand in Melbourne on Sunday with the home side the odds-on favourites to win their fifth title.

However, New Zealand have already beaten their neighbours this tournament and are not to be underestimated. Keep reading for our preview of the 2015 Cricket World Cup Final.

Australia the favourites on home soil

Despite some inconsistent form heading into the World Cup, the co-hosts have cruised into the final and are now seeking their fifth World Cup title.

The Aussies comfortably overcame India in their semi-final, with Steve Smith hitting 105 from 93 balls and Aaron Finch posting 81 as they beat the reigning champions by 95 runs. Their total of 328-7 was the highest score ever made in a World Cup semi-final.

It was the Aussies’ seventh semi-final win in as many attempts and they are the 4/9 favourites to lift the trophy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

After their win over India captain Michael Clarke acknowledged that their opponents are the form team. “We will have to play our best to beat them although I think playing in our home conditions will help us. There is always a great rivalry as well as mutual respect between the two teams.

“The Australians and the New Zealanders have a wonderful relationship. It will be really tough on the field but we get on really well off it,” he said.

Can New Zealand win their first World Cup?

It’s been almost the smoothest of tournaments for New Zealand who have won all of their nine matches at the World Cup and now have a chance to lift the trophy for the first time.

One of New Zealand’s most famous cricketers will end his international career after the final and a win would be the perfect swansong to the career of Daniel Vettori. The country’s most-capped Test player, Sunday’s match will be Vettori’s 291st one-day international and he needs three more dismissals to finish with 300 one-day wickets.

However, the 36 year old doesn’t want his final match to distract New Zealand from its aim of winning the World Cup for the first time. “It’s not what I’m thinking about,” he said. “It’s just about having some fun and enjoying the game and enjoying the build-up to a World Cup final.

“No-one else in New Zealand cricket history has been able to experience that before so it’s pretty exciting to experience a grand final week. The chance to play a World Cup final regardless of where you are in your career is something everyone dreams about.”

Verdict

While Australia have grown in confidence as the tournament has progressed, New Zealand look like the more complete team and demonstrated in their extraordinary semi-final win over South Africa that they can handle serious pressure.

Having won all their matches so far on home soil they will have the disadvantage of facing their opponents in Melbourne. However, I believe that this team have one more big win in them and can finally lift the trophy for the first time. With little to choose between the sides the value looks to be in backing New Zealand to win at 7/4.

Cricket Betting

Feb 13, 783 days ago

2015 Cricket World Cup betting preview

2015 Cricket World Cup betting preview

There is a feast of cricket to look forward to over the next six weeks as Australia and New Zealand host the 11th Cricket World Cup.

14 teams will play 49 matches in 14 venues between mid February and the end of March and the two host nations are many people’s favourites to be crowned World Champions at the MCG on 29 March. Keep reading for our 2015 Cricket World Cup betting preview.

The favourites

They are four-time World Cup winners and perhaps unsurprisingly Australia are the 2/1 favourites to win the tournament in front of their home crowd. With the exception of their pool match against New Zealand they play all of their matches on home turf and comfortably won the recent tri-series tournament.

Michael Clarke will hope to overcome his injury worries on order to lead the side who may also have to do without talismanic number eight James Faulkner. Without their leading wicket taker in 2014 the Aussies may not quite be the same side although they do have a formidable record in this tournament.

A better bet may be South Africa at 3/1. They may never have reached a World Cup final but are in the much easier pool and should cruise to the knockout stages. Three times a semi-finalist, their minimum ambition should be the semi-finals where they will hope that the brilliance of AB de Villiers can carry them to their first title.

New Zealand will co-host this tournament and will play all of their Pool A matches in front of a home crowd. They are in the tougher pool but have an excellent record – six World Cup semi-finals – and they are in excellent form.

If they can beat Australia in Auckland on 28 February and win their group then Brendan McCullum’s side look to have a reasonably straightforward passage to their first World Cup final. They look decent each way odds at 5/1.

Despite their tri-nations defeat it would be a mistake to write off England. Fast bowlers are likely to be the key to success on the fast, bouncy pitches down under and in Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson and the in-form Steven Finn England have three great weapons. Dangerous with the new ball, if England can get a couple of decent pool results a semi-final berth should be within reach.

Yes, the batting may collapse at any moment but they do offer decent value at 8/1.

The challengers

It would be foolish to write off a team containing the experienced batting trio of Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene and so previous World Cup winners Sri Lanka could be dangerous.

However, they are in a tricky pool and the lack of bowling strength in depth – Malinga excluded – could be their downfall.

India are the reigning World Cup champions and are the ICCs second ranked one day team under coach Duncan Fletcher. They have huge batting talent and some decent fast bowlers in Kumar and Shami but often flatter to deceive away from the subcontinent. They failed to win a single one of their recent matches in Australia and so the 9/1 doesn’t offer much value.

Similarly, Pakistan have no real one day form to speak of although much could depend on whether the world’s top ranked ODI bowler, Saeed Ajmal, will play. Ajmal has 183 one day wickets and his controversial action has been cleared by the ICC, prompting speculation that he could make a shock return to the national team.

On their day West Indies are capable of upsetting anyone but sadly those days don’t happen all that often. They could well qualify for the knockout stages although would be a surprise winner at 28/1.

Zimbabwe could cause an upset or two in the pool but are 500/1 to go all the way while Ireland pulled off a shock win against England in 2011 and will hope for another high profile scalp here.

Cricket Betting

Aug 28, 952 days ago

England v India – One Day series preview

England v India – One Day series preview

A busy summer of cricket continues for England over the next week with three more matches in their one day series with India. After their Test series win, England are looking to wrap up a series triumph in the limited overs form of the game but will have to be on top form having gone down 1-0 after two matches.

Keep reading for our preview of the rest of this summer’s one day series.

England 1-0 down with three matches to play

After the first match of the series was washed out by torrential rain in Bristol, England were keen to get off to a good start in the series when they faced India in the second match in Cardiff on Thursday.

However, it was a pretty dismal display by the home side with Alistair Cook’s team going down to a 133 run defeat. Suresh Raina hit an excellent century as India reached 304-6 in their fifty overs before England were bowled out for 161 chasing a rain-adjusted target of 295.

The two bright spots for England were the bowling of Chris Woakes and the batting of debutant Alex Hales. Woakes took four wickets for 52 runs in his 10 overs while Nottinghamshire batsman Hales top scored for England with a confident 40.

Already, England have to win the third match at Trent Bridge this Saturday to have any chance in the series. Defeat and the best they can hope for would be to tie the five match series with wins at Edgbaston on Tuesday and at Headingley next Friday.

England likely to make changes ahead of remaining matches

Considering that Chris Jordan bowled 12 wides at Cardiff while Ben Stokes was hit for 54 off just seven overs, it’s likely that England will make changes to their line-up for the remainder of the series. In his post-match press conference, England captain Alastair Cook suggested his wayward bowlers had cost his team around 40 runs and that without these extra runs England would have had a fighting chance of a successful run chase.

Liam Treadwell and Alex Hales look to have done enough to be retained for at least the Trent Bridge tie although the likes of Joe Root, Ian Bell and Jos Buttler underperformed with the bat in Cardiff.

After the defeat, Cook said: “We weren’t at the races today and I don’t quite know why. It was not a 300-wicket [India’s score]; nor was it a 160-wicket [England’s score]. It’s not the end of the world but it is frustrating. You can’t win every game of cricket, certainly not when you play like that. We will just have to dust ourselves off and play better.”

Verdict

England’s capitulation in Cardiff was surprising, particularly considering their strong finish to the Test series and the fact that the conditions were hugely suited to England’s bowlers. We can expect changes to the attack ahead of the remaining three games and England have to win at Trent Bridge to have any chance of winning the five match series.

I fancy England to bounce back with a better performance in Nottingham and Alastair Cook’s side can be backed at 10/11 to win. If you fancy England to win all three of the fixtures in the next week they are 5/1 to win the five match series.

Cricket Betting

Jul 25, 986 days ago

England v India – Third Test preview

England v India – Third Test preview

The figures don’t make good reading. It’s now ten matches and 11 months since England won a Test and their most recent effort – a 95 run defeat to an India side who hadn’t won as an ‘away’ side for three years – has thrown the team further into turmoil.

The captain insists he won’t resign but with tiredness, injury and poor form catching up with his team, Alistair Cook desperately needs a win. Keep reading for our preview of the third Test in Southampton.

World record stand eases England to draw

Since 2009, nine men in the world have played more than 49 Tests. Eight of these are English and so it’s perhaps no wonder that injury and tiredness are hampering the home side’s chances this summer.

Graeme Swann has already retired while Matt Prior’s withdrawal from the series suggests injury may be about to bring down the curtain on his England career. Stuart Broad has a serious knee injury while Jimmy Anderson arguably has the highest workload of any Test bowler. Add into the mix the poor form of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell (averages of 16 and 26 this summer respectively) and England can’t buy a Test win right now.

For the time being Cook carries on as captain and the 13 man squad – Simon Kerrigan is omitted – sees just one change. After 33 one day internationals and 36 Twenty20 matches for England, Lancashire wicket-keeper Jos Buttler replaces Matt Prior.

The England captain has reiterated his desire to stay in the job. “I’m desperate to carry on,” Cook said. “There might be a time when I’m not desperate to carry on but now I want to be at the front when we’re winning. I still want to throw it all in [and] to be captain of England. Until that bloke taps you on the shoulder, I want to carry on.”

India record first overseas win since 2011

To say that winning at Lord’s was a big deal for India would be something of an understatement. It is the nation’s first away Test win for 17 matches in a dismal run that stretches back to early 2011. It is also only their sixth Test win in England and only their second at Lord’s.

Captain MS Dhoni was fulsome in his praise for the first-innings contributions of Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as well as the spiky half-century from Ravindra Jadeja on Sunday morning that gave India crucial extra runs to defend.

Dhoni also explained how he had ‘tricked’ fast bowler Ishant Sharma into bowling short – a tactic that saw the 25 year old fast bowler take 7 second innings wickets for just 74 runs.

Dhoni said: “To start with it was very difficult to convince him to bowl short or around the wicket. You have to tell him that it still counts as a Test wicket when you are bowling short, not only when you get a nick to the keeper. At times it becomes difficult to make them understand even if you are saying it in simple words.

“So I set a field to him so he couldn’t even think of pitching it up; that was the start. I gave him the field that forced him to bowl the way I wanted him to bowl.”

Verdict

After their win at Lord’s, India look like a team on the up while England are short of runs and confidence. Quite where a home win is going to come from, no-one – least of all Alistair Cook – is quite sure.

However, as Sourav Ganguly says: “Green, result-oriented pitches is the need of the hour for England. If that’s what is rolled out for each of the Tests, trust me, this series is far from being over.”

Another defeat would surely spell the end of Alastair Cook’s captaincy – at least for this series. India are 2/1 to prevail and that looks where the value is. England are 7/4 to win.

Cricket Betting

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