No major surprise to see Shahid Afridi as a massive odds on favourite to be the top wicket taker at the 2011 World Cup. After Wednesday’s match against the embarrassing West Indies, Afridi now has 21 wickets at a modest average of just 10.71.
Afridi’s closet rival with the bookmakers is Zaheer, he is currently on 15 wickets, but could be out of the tournament this time tomorrow night, whereas Afridi is guaranteed at least one more match.
But if India go all the way, then they will obviously have to knock Pakistan out in the semi-final, so that could well be enough to see Zaheer overtake Afridi.
Considering India are 7/2 to win the competition, the better value bet might be Zaheer being top wicket taker at 11/2. There’s a good chance of that happening should India reach the final, and some insurance is also there as India wouldn’t need to win the match.
Robin Peterson, Umar Gul and Tim Southee all have 14 wickets. Gul will obviously play in the same matches as Afridi, so is unlikely to make up 7 wickets on him.
One of Peterson or Southee will also depart the tournament on Friday, the chances are that it will be Southee, so Peterson could be a possible outside threat to Afridi.
The fact that South Africa are expected to go all the way in this tournament is probably why Peterson and Tahir are still in the running. As well as those two, Dale Steyn is 14/1. Tahir has 12 wickets and Steyn 10.
To me it looks a bridge too far for Steyn, while Tahir is unlucky as he has only played the 4 games (averaging 9.83), compared to his team mates 6 matches. Where could he now be, had he not got injured?
For us English, Graeme Swann is a big outsider at 28/1, Swann also has 12 wickets so would appear to have too much ground to make up. England would also have to make the final for that to have any chance.