King Kohli set to be Top Indian Batsman again in 2nd Test!!

Lets face it, if it wasn’t for England winning the Test match, Virat Kohli would have easily won the man of the match award (rather that England’s Sam Curran) for his first innings century, as his knock was imperious and fully underlined his credentials of being the best batsman in the world at the moment.

Such was Kohli’s dominance, it looks hard to see past him repeating the feat and again being Top Indian batsman in the 2nd Test, starting at Lord’s on Thursday (9th August).

Such was the quality of the innings, it would have been worthy of taking the man of the match award every day of the week under normal circumstances – but such was the all out action and up and down nature of the 1st Test, meant these weren’t normal circumstances. It was a bonkers, thoroughly enjoyable match.

Going into Thursday’s 2nd Test match, and it’s no surprise to see that Kolhi is the favourite in the betting to be Top Indian Batsman, he is as short as 7/4 with some bookmakers, with Betway having him at 2/1.

Remarkably, and this might sum up the rest of India’s batsmen at the moment, Cheteshwar Pujara is the second favourite in the betting, at 9/2, and he isn’t even confirmed as in the team – although common consensus is that he will play.

Kolhi’s India team will be looking to level the series at 1-a-piece at Lord’s on Thursday, and they are 9/5 to win the Test. Joe Root’s England side are 21/20, with the Draw at 10/3.

India’s main selections dilemma seems to be who to leave out for Pujara to probably come back in, while trying to decide whether to go in with 2 spinners or not.

England have brought in youngster Ollie Pope, in place of t he dropped Dawid Malan, and have put him in the line up at No.3, despite him batting at 6 for his county side.

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England’s only other selection issue is the spinner conundrum as well, as they decide whether replace Ben Stokes with either Chris Woakes in a like-for-like swap, or recall Moeen Ali and go with the twin spin option.

Given the way Sam Curran performed at Edgbaston, Joe Root now knows he has a third seam bowler he can reply on, which opens the door slightly more for a Moeen recall – although I expect England will probably play safe and go with Woakes.

Rashid to play in 1st Test V India, despite all the furore

The build up to the 1st Test match between England and India starting at Edgbaston this Wednesday continues to be overshadowed by the debate around Adil Rashid’s selection, with Geoffrey Boycott the latest to give us his opinion on the matter.

In his regular Telegraph Sport column, Boycott has labelled Rashid a spoilt brat, who should never have been handed a Test recall. This is on top of criticism from the likes of Michael Vaughan who has already become embroiled in a war of words with Rashid, and criticism from the likes of Nasser Hussain, and even from his own county side, Yorkshire.

In fairness and in defence of Rashid, I think Boycott’s criticism is more of the spinners decision not to play red ball cricket for Yorkshire, as who can blame him for accepting the call up? By all means criticise Rashid for not playing against Lancashire in the recent Roses match, but not for getting called up for England. What was Rashid supposed to do, turn it down?

Adil Rashid

Rashid in his England cricket whites.

I can see the point of view the likes of Vaughan and Hussain have about county cricket, as I can totally see why it looks like a kick in the teeth for the likes of Jack Leach. Another way to look at it though, is that Ed Smith and the England selectors think that Rashid looks the best bet, and surely that is more of a damning indictment on County cricket, which we can’t blame Rashid for.

After all, Adil did say when he went onto a white ball only contract that there seemed little point in playing red ball cricket as he would hardly at the start of the season, and that he would re-evaluate the decision later in the year.

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It seems to me that the two issues are becoming mixed up, and are starting to overlap. It seems harsh to criticise him for playing for England, but fair game to criticise him for not playing red ball county cricket. They are surely two separate issues though, that are wrongly being mixed into one at the moment.

Rashid has been picked for England now, and all of this hype is overshadowing things, and is possibly putting no end of pressure on him. I think the time has come to get off his back, and let him get on with playing.

How to Increase Your Winnings When Betting on Cricket?

Getting an edge over the bookmakers is very difficult, especially if you’re betting on cricket. Bookmakers use means and have all the statistics available have an advantage over you. They can easily draw conclusions on how to make their profits on you. So, in order for you to try and outsmart them and make your betting more profitable, you’d have to become a researcher and do all the statistics… or, you can use these 4 tips and start improving your game.

Check the Weather Conditions That Day

You’re not going to outmaneuver bookmakers by googling the weather forecast, because you can be sure that they will do that as well. No, the best scenario involves you checking the ground and seeing what the weather conditions are. Assuming you know the basic cricket rules, you should know that if the day seems humid, then you should not bet on many runs and put your wager on the team that has stronger bowling attack. On the other hand, if it’s a rainy day, you should expect more runs and favor the team famous for the batting.

Rain Delays At Cricket

Speaking About Betting on Runs – Be Careful with That

Betting on runs is actually the trickiest and riskiest bet you could possibly make. This goes especially for bets on the team you support. First of all, please check the weather before you even attempt betting on the overs or unders. There are two things that can happen. Bettors bet on overs more often than unders, and this is not something that bookmakers haven’t noticed so far. So, they are automatically tempted to make the markets unfairly high in order to balance the books. That’s why betting the unders will give you a better chance of getting the edge.

Try Betting on Both Teams

Everyone’s afraid of betting on both teams. Why? If you do it right, you’ll have a very profitable betting. The secret is in the game’s momentum – it shifts all the time. So, betting on the team that has reached 2.5 odds first, and then as the momentum changes, betting on the second team can give you guaranteed winnings. Be wary that this works when betting on limited overs.

Stay Away from Draw Bets in Test Matches

Especially if you’re a beginner in cricket betting, you should avoid betting on draws. I know it’s tempting and you’ve heard that this is the most popular bet, but for now, stay away from them. As you have read so far, there are many factors that intervene with the final result. The advice is to observe and wait for the momentum. See which team has it and bet on it. Don’t underestimate the pitch deterioration due to days-long matches, which can make batting pretty difficult during those last two days. You can click here to observe the results of the draws and wait patiently for the game’s momentum to shift. This is when you should place your bet. As soon as you put these tips into practice, you’ll see why they are essential. With time, you’ll understand the betting process and be good betting on your own.

Popular methods of betting on cricket

Multisports betting has opened up the option to bet on more than just football or horse racing. Cricket is regarded as one of the UK’s greatest ever sports but even the most advanced punters are disregarding it as something you can freely bet on. This is a missed opportunity as all of the top bookmakers now offer various markets and prices on a variety of outcomes in the sport.

As the ability to bet on cricket is something that many have missed, methods of betting on cricket are almost mythical, but there’s plenty of worthwhile ways to get involved. Betting markets for all sports continue to grow all the time and the same goes for cricket. While there aren’t too many people providing insight over how to bet on cricket, TeamFA set themselves aside from the crowd with their own cricket betting tips and previews.

Most cricket punters will tend to bet on:

Match Result and Total Points

Only a handful of sports will exclude a match result market, but cricket is one of the many sports where you can easily back the outcome of a given game. Usually referred to as ‘Main Markets’ or as the ‘Winner Betting Odds’, this market will appear first on most event pages. It’s a way of backing the simplest outcome to predict – the winner of that game – with no obstacles or catches. You can also back which side will win and add on which side will take the most sixes too, but this is limited to specific bookmakers.

Statistics Betting Markets

When it comes to betting on cricket, getting behind statistics will always rank as being the most popular markets to get behind. These statistics include all sorts of possible facts and figures, and they’re scattered around all cricket match pages. Most runs regarding each side is one of the most in-demand, then followed by an assortment of player markets on both batting and runs scored.

Being able to build your own bet with your own specialised selections has given even more options to punters who want to back a specific outcome in the cricket. Whether it’s the most runs for a chosen player, the outcome of the match, or a handful of statistics, you can add them all into your own bet. Even the smaller games now have loads of different SkyBet RequestABet, BetVictor #PriceItUp, BetFair Same Game Multi and Bet365 Bet Builder options, and you’re also given the chance to ask for your own markets if you get in touch with these bookmakers directly.

At last, a Test win for England!!!

So at last England have won a game of Test match cricket, but this doesn’t mean all is well in the garden for Test captain Joe Root, as there are still numerous issues to be addressed in his Test match team.

England showed a lot of spirit and determination in beating Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs at Leeds on Sunday, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of where this England team is currently at.

The Struggling Opening Partnership

So Keaton Jennings made an okay return to Test match cricket, but that was all it was, an okay return. The fact he was returning tells its own story, and in all honesty, replacing Mark Stoneman with Keaton Jennings is a bit like the proverbial rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

England are just replacing one opener with deficiencies, with another one with deficiencies. Stoneman looks more technically organised than Jennings, with the latter seemingly looking a tougher more robust character, maybe a valuable attribute to an opener.

It remains to be seen if Jennings will be a decent long term opener, but he looks the sort of player that the Aussie and South Africa pace bowlers will like the look of.

Fellow opening partner Alastair Cook, also hasn’t been pulling up any trees over the past 2 to 3 years, and with no opening batsmen banging the door down in county cricket, it remains a problem position for England.

England’s Fragile Middle Order

Along with the struggling openers, the English middle order isn’t too clever either. Add the two together and it’s not hard to see why England have been dismissed for totals of just 184, 58, 180, 195, and 133 over the past 12 months.

James Vince has been tried and discarded again, Dawid Malan got a century in Australia, but has struggled since, although Malan looks a well organised player. Jonny Bairstow looks good getting a quick 40, but then keeps getting out. It’s a similar story for Joe Root, who tends to get to 70 or 80, before he does the same thing.

No one seems capable of building a proper innings in this English Test team, it’s always a case of a player looking good, and then doing something silly and getting himself out. We keep hearing about what good cricketers these guys are, so why don’t they win more Test matches? Maybe they simply aren’t as good as we are told!!

England’s Toothless Attack Overseas

Yes, Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Chris Woakes are exceptional in English conditions, but lets be honest about it, when they go overseas they are fairly toothless.

I know there is a queue of people waiting to say that’s rubbish and that Anderson and Broad have over 900 Test wickets between them, but look at their performances in Australia and New Zealand over the winter, with the exception of an innings here or there, they weren’t too clever.

Chris Woakes has struggled abroad as well. In his 24 Test matches to date, he averages a wicket every 34.45 runs, with a strike rate of a wicket every 66.43 balls. Break that down though, and it might highlight England’s problems overseas.

In England he taken 46 wickets in 12 Test matches, that’s a wicket for 23.76 runs he concedes off his bowling, which is exceptional, and that’s a wicket every 45.30 balls he has bowled. While away from England, he has played 12 Test matches with an average of 61.77 runs per wicket, and an equally poor strike rate of a wicket every 120.44 balls bowled. That is some difference.

Until England find some good quality pace bowlers, they are always going to struggle abroad, and they seem incapable of addressing this issue.

Positives For England

It’s not all doom and gloom for England though. A couple of Ed Smith players have come off in this series. Starting with Jos Buttler, and despite all the criticism that he hasn’t played enough red ball cricket, he looked England’s best batsman in this series. It just goes to show that a class player in form, is a class player in form, no matter what the format or ball colour.

Dom Bess also did himself no harm either. Okay, so he didn’t rip Pakistan apart with his off breaks, but he showed there is something there to work with. Add to that he looked the part in the field, and most importantly these days if you want to bowl spin and hold down a place in this England team, he showed he could bat. His 3 appearances with the bat yielded 121 runs, quite enough to see him nail down the number 8 or 9 spot in an England team that likes it’s bowlers to be able to bat well.

England Odds On to beat Pakistan and level the Test Series

England go into todays’s 2nd Test against Pakistan at Headingley, with Mark Stoneman out, and Keaton Jennings in. That is one definite change, with Chris Woakes possibly in line for a recall, and Ben Stokes is also struggling with an injury.

England’s main problem would seem to be a lack of form, and the subsequent confidence crisis that ultimately will follow such a dismal run in form.

Such is England’s form of late, it seems to be a massive leap of faith for any punters wishing to back England at odds of 4/7 with Betfair. The draw is 4/1, with Pakistan at 16/5.

England can still win this series, and a win for Joe Root’s side wouldn’t be a massive shock, after all they do have a fairly decent home record over the past few years. It’s just, can you trust them at such a short price?

The possible recall of Woakes in English condition – where he has an outstanding record – will no doubt strengthen England and increase their chances of finishing the two match series on level terms, but will it help England build a side capable of winning outside of England (an area where Woakes has a poor record)? Probably not.

Similar to the inclusion of Keaton Jennings, they look like short term fixes, rather than long term ones. But with Joe Root’s honeymoon period as captain well and truly over, and possible pressure building on Trevor Bayliss’ position as head coach of the Test team, surely England will play safe and bring Woakes back for Wood, rather than Stuart Broad or James Anderson, as suggested by Michael Vaughan.

I can totally see where former England captain Vaughan is coming from (he has suggested that too many players are comfortable in this England team), but in England’s current plight, it would be a brave call for Root to drop a guy with over 400 Test match wickets in Broad, or England’s all time record wicket taker in Anderson.

Five Massive Issues Facing Cricket Today

In some ways, the game of cricket is in rude health on a global level. Events like the IPL and BBL have ensured that cricket reaches new audiences and the game thrives under new marketing opportunities. But, at least parts of the traditional game of cricket, are changing, perhaps irreversibly. Obviously, progress and change can be a good thing. However, some changes might extinguish the factors that made us fall in love with the game in the first place.

Here are five issues facing the game today:

White Ball Vs Red Ball Cricket

The Ashes gets massive coverage when it comes around every couple of years, but can the same be said for the rest of Test and First Class cricket? Alex Hales recently signed a ‘white-ball contract’ with Nottinghamshire, who are, incidentally, 5/2 favourites to win the County Championship this season. This means the right-hander, who is not yet 30-years-old, will only concentrate on limited overs cricket. The question is will this type of move away from red ball become a trend? There is even talk of a schism within the sport. It’s a precarious time for the traditional game.

The Weather

Not everyone believes in manmade climate change, but the fact that the weather has changed in recent years in places like the UK is undeniable: The facts are there. In a compelling piece, the team behind cricket betting from Betway have produced a study on how inclement weather is impacting cricket in England. The most eye-catching stat is that “The rate of rain-affected matches has more than doubled since 2011.” You might think a bit of rain won’t ruin the game’s future, but matches being constantly called off make fans reconsider buying tickets the next time around. It’s a thought provoking piece by Betway Insider and well worth a read.

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Integrity

Steven Smith and David Warner

Enough column inches have been spent talking about Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner in the last few months, but cheating scandals do not put the game in a good light, especially for those wanting to bet on cricket. Despite the bans, what real punishment will the trio receive? They will be back in ample time for the ICC Cricket World Cup next year. Australia still remain more or less the same price (9/2, Betway) to win the World Cup as before the scandal. Plus ça change and all that.

Participation

Statista reports that the number of people participating in cricket fell from 419,500 in 2008 to 278,600 in 2016. That’s a 33% drop in less than a decade. Again, like the problems with the weather, a lack of quality new players coming through leads to a decline in interest from the fans. On the bright side though, places like Australia are reporting a big rise in participation levels and the strides the women’s game has taken in recent years is also something to cheer.

Its Epicentres

Cricket Right Handed Batsman Playing Shot

The cricket world has always centred around India, Australia and England. There are, of course, plenty of other places where cricket is popular, but this trio hold the balance of power in the game. To thrive, it needs to move away from the idea of a sport for former Commonwealth countries and make itself a global sport. Check out the story of how Ireland, where cricket was historically abhorred, became a Test playing nation in recent years. If the game can plant seeds and grow on an island always reluctant to embrace ‘British’ sports, why not in the USA? South America? The rest of Europe?

Australian Cricket at its Lowest

The cricket world is in turmoil as never before. A national coach resigned, its captain is in tears. This is the culmination of a scandal, which occurred in play at an international match in South Africa. Fair play is a central principle in every sport, and especially in cricket, where offences of this nature are considered sacrilege.

Namely, the ball was manipulated with sandpaper, which deeply hurt the Australian image of sportsmanship. So far, the Australians were always cheering for their successful team. Now, they are ashamed. The game was available for betting at netbet.co.uk.

Steve Smith, the captain of the Australian national team, landed in Sydney after a long journey back from South Africa. “I know I’ll regret it for the rest of my life,” Smith said in a shaky voice as he sat sobbing in front of cameras and microphones and talking about the shame he had brought on his family.

Australian Cricket Team

When Smith left for South Africa for an international match, he was one of the best players in the world. He has returned as a deluded fraudster. He takes full responsibility, he said. It is the culmination of a scandal, which has caused the biggest turmoil in cricket in recent times.

Smith and vice-captain David Warner had instigated their fellow player Cameron Bancroft to sandpaper the leather ball during Saturday’s game against South Africa. The so-called ball tampering deteriorates the flying ability of the ball, which means a massive disadvantage for the opponent batsman.

A camera was filming Cameron, the action flew open, and the outcry was huge. The Australian Cricketers’ Association barred Smith and Warner for twelve, Bancroft for nine months from all international and national games. They also have to do 100 hours of volunteer work. In addition, coach Darren Lehmann resigned, who had previously stated that he knew nothing of manipulation.

In order to understand the whole vortex, which was caused with a little sandpaper grinding, one must gain basic understanding of the nature of every sport. Fair play is not a mere phrase in cricket, but a central principle. The Australians have violated the spirit of cricket, especially in Australia and other Commonwealth countries where cricket is a national sport.

So far, the national team was an integral part of the Australian national pride. The Australians won four of the last five Cricket World Cups. This fraud is very sensitive to the Australians. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that it had been unimaginable so far that the Australian cricket team could be involved in a fraud.

However, in the past, the Australians had accumulated incidents that did not necessarily match the noble spirit of the sport. They are regarded as rather unpopular with the competitors, which is not only because they often win. Instead, the Australians like to use other unclean methods – and behave not necessarily exemplary.

Do you remember David Warner colliding in the stairwell with the opposing player Quinton de Kock? This aggressive nature of the team says so much about them according to recently retired international Ed Cowan. In order to regain the trust of the public, the team needs a major overhaul. Looks like it has just started.

Sunrisers Hyderabad impress after first round of IPL matches

We’ve now had a chance to look at everyone, and it’s fair to say that Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad look very impressive, and that given the balance of their bowling line up, they look set to be a major force in the 2018 IPL.

The 2016 winners have a bowling line up that consists of the pace and bounce of Billy Stanlake, along with the dual spin of the experienced Shakib Al Hasan, and Afghanistan’s inexperienced but top class Rashid Khan, who already looks like a seasoned performer at the top level.

With Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson at the top of the order as well, Sunrisers have a solid core to their side, and if Williamson can utilise his spin bowlers well (which I’m sure he will), they have to be serious contenders.

Shakib and Rashid will be a nightmare combination to face in the middle Overs of a match, and will stifle the life out of many a batting line up in this IPL, just like they did to Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler yesterday, in the Sunrisers’ hammering of the Rajasthan Royals.

At the start of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore were the favourites, and although that remains the case, they have drifted from 7/2 to 4/1 with William Hill. Sunrisers are the big movers in the IPL Outright Winner Betting though, having seen their odds cut from 6/1 to 9/2, coming into second favourites.

IPL Outright Winner Betting Odds

Royal Challengers Bangalore – 4/1
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 9/2
Chennai Super Kings – 9/2
Kolkata Knight Riders – 5/1
Mumbai Indians – 5/1
Kings XI Punjab – 6/1
Delhi Daredevils – 10/1
Rajasthan Royals – 12/1

All prices with correct with William Hill William Hill ahead of match 5.

Match 5 sees Chennai Super Kings hosting the Kolkata Knight Riders. Both teams won their opening matches, so someone’s 100% record will go today.

English interest in today’s match for Chennai is Sam Billings, David Willey and Mark Wood. While Tom Curren is in the ranks of Kolkata. Both sides are 10/11 to win with William Hill.

Royal Challengers Bangalore start 2018 IPL as favourites

The 2018 Indian Premier League gets under way on 7th April, and the usual suspects, Royal Challenger Bangalore, start the competition as favourites.

Royal Challengers Bangalore Logo

RCB (as they are also known) boast a line up that includes the top batsman in 50 Overs world cricket, Virat Kohli, in their ranks, alongside overseas stars such as AB de Villiers, Quinton De Kock, Brendon McCullum, Tim Southee, and Chris Woakes, to name a few.

Such as star studded line up has seen RCB start the competition as favourites before, like last year when they had players like Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, de Villiers and Kohli in their ranks, but finished bottom of the table with just 3 wins from their 14 matches.

This season they will be expecting different, and RCB start off as 7/2 favourites with William Hill to lift the trophy in Mumbai on 27th May (yes, that’s right, the 2th May).

IPL Outright Winner Betting Odds

Royal Challengers Bangalore – 7/2
Mumbai Indians – 4/1
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 6/1
Chennai Super Kings – 6/1
Kolkata Knight Riders – 6/1
Delhi Daredevils – 7/1
Kings XI Punjab – 8/1
Rajasthan Royals – 8/1

Pre competition prices with William Hill.