Latest Ashes Betting

There has been plenty happening in the build up to the Ashes over the past few days, and this has resulted in a price movement in the Ashes Betting odds, with England getting cut in the series winner market.

Since last weekend, for England, we have seen Kevin Pietersen return to playing action with a magnificent century. And we got a very subtle tip off Geoff Miller that Joe Root will be promoted to open the batting, at the expense of Nick Compton.

On the Australian side of things, we have seen the changing of coach, with the sacking of Mickey Arthur and the appointment of Darren Lehmann as his replacement, and have heard news of Michael Clarke’s imminent return to playing action.

Something in amongst all that has seen England’s odds cut from 2/5, to 1/3.

The Ashes Betting for outright series winner is now – England 1/3, Drawn Series 6/1, and Australia 4/1.

I’m not too sure what to make of it all to be honest. The majority of the positives seem to be with the Australians from what I can see. Michael Clarke retuning is vital, and by all accounts, the appointment of Lehmann is a major plus to the Australian dressing room.

If ever a sporting unit needed to be managed/placated by one of their own, I’ve always thought it was the Australian cricket team. To go from a team that basically managed itself, to needing to get in a foreign coach in less than 7 years is staggering for a side like the Aussie cricket team.

This is the Australian cricket team, not the Australian gymnast team. I can understand an under developed sport looking abroad for help, but the Aussie cricket team! It just made no sense.

Whether players liked Arthur or not, they surely couldn’t take a foreigner running them. Bringing in Lehmann, will surely give that dressing room it’s Aussie spirit back.

As for England, the return of Pietersen is obviously a huge positive, as is his form with his century at the weekend.

The slight concern for me is moving Joe Root up the order to open. I have no doubt that Root will make that spot his own for years to come, I just wonder if he would be better off staying where he is for the time being though. He seems to have settled into the middle order reasonably well and was looking comfortable there.

I understand it is a tough call for England. Someone has to miss out for the returning Pietersen, and it was always going to be one of Jonny Bairstow or Nick Compton. The problem with dropping Compton is that it means re-jigging the batting line up, something I’m sure the selectors are loathed to do. At the same time, they can’t keep a bloke in who’s not scoring runs just for the sake of not moving another batsman around, or up the order.

The start of the Ashes is just two weeks away now, and the Ashes Betting for the 1st Test match sees England at 5/6, The Draw 9/4, and Australia 10/3. Expect that to change though, what with weather, form, etc.

Champions Trophy Betting – India V Sri Lanka

Well, I think it’s safe to say I couldn’t have called yesterday’s game between England and South Africa much worse…. 300+ wicket on a pitch that should suit South Africa, two evenly matched sides, too close to call, etc…

In fairness to myself, it wasn’t a 175 all out wicket, the 9th wicket partnership of 95 for South Africa showed that, as well as Jonathan Trott’s batting. Also, I did mention that James Tredwell was an adequate replacement for Graeme Swann, so I at least did get something right (I think I may be clutching at straws here).

Briefly on the issue of Swann and Tredwell, you can’t drop Tredwell now in my opinion, so he has to play on Sunday if both are fit.

Today’s match between India and Sri Lanka seems destined to be rain effected, not as rain effected as predicted earlier in the week though. The Cardiff forecast seems much improved, and the doom and gloom predictions of a wash out seem to have now disappeared.

The bookmakers have India as strong favourites at 1/2, and Sri Lanka at 13/8. India have clearly been getting backed in, as they were 4/7 yesterday, and Sri Lanka were 11/8.

With the exception of the opening game between India and South Africa, Sophia Gardens has had low scoring games. The uncertainty of what to expect is deepened by virtue of the fact that a new wicket is being used today.

On the whole I would normally expect a lot of runs between these two sides, but it is expected to be a rain interrupted match today, so scoring might not be as high as expected. Add to that the new wicket, previous low scoring on this ground, etc, and it’s hard to know what to expect (after yesterdays high scoring prediction, I’m sitting firmly on the fence today).

Onto the outright winner betting, and England now find themselves as favourites again. The betting markets seem to have already made up their minds that it will be an England  V India final. I think India may well return to favourites should they make the final.

If you are betting on the Outright Winner Market, bear in mind that if today’s game is a ‘No Result,’ India qualify by virtue of the fact that they won their group.

Champions Trophy Betting

England 10/11
India 5/4
Sri Lanka 6/1

Champions Trophy Betting – England V South Africa

The first semi-final is to be played at the Oval today and on paper it looks too close to call.

The bookmakers make England 4/5 favourites, and have South Africa at Even money.

I’m  not too sure I would agree with that, I believe the conditions will slightly suit the South Africans better today. It looks a perfect day for batting, and I believe that this could be a 300+ runs wicket, which isn’t playing to England’s strengths.

On the flip side, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are both out , and with no Jacque Kallis in the squad, the Protea’s bowling does look very short. It struggled badly against India (who I believe to be a better batting unit than England), so the English batsmen should fancy their chances today.

England have no Graeme Swann, but like I wrote in the New Zealand match preview, James Tredwell is a more than adequate replacement.

So there’s pluses and minuses for both teams. I don’t expect weather to play a part, although thunder storms could turn up anywhere in the UK today.

England have won the toss and elected to field. I hope they don’t live to regret that, as I eluded too above, I’m not convinced England are a side equipped to chase 300+.

I reckon De Villiers would have batted first if he won the toss. Experience suggests South Africa might lose their nerve chasing, so I believe England have already handed the initiative to South Africa. If on the other hand, England take early wickets, Cook’s gamble will have paid off.

In the outright winner betting, India remain strong favourites.  Heavy rain is forecast on the day of their semi-final, so they could be in the final without bowling a ball (group winners qualify in the event of a washed out match).

Champions Trophy Betting

India 5/4
England 9/4
South Africa 3/1
Sri Lanka 6/1

Champions Trophy Betting – South Africa V West Indies

Today’s match in Cardiff is effectively a straight knock out between South Africa and West Indies. There is plenty of rain in the air, and the possibility of a wash out is a real threat. I expect some play to take place, but will there be enough to constitute a match?

The match betting has South Africa as favourites at 4/6, and West Indies at 6/5.

If the game is a ‘no result,’ then South Africa will go through on net run rate. Not the worst outcome for a team renowned for blowing big matches, and maybe just the stroke of good fortune required to help them on their way to finally burying the ‘chokers’ tag.

In West Indies two games to date, they have been well beat by India, and they had a good go at blowing what should have been a reasonably comfortable run chase against Pakistan, only winning by 2 wickets in the end (chasing 171).

South Africa had a reasonable go at chasing down a large Indian total (331/7) in their first game, but fell short (305). And then restricted Pakistan to 167, while defending a modest total (234) to record their first win, in their second match.

Form says that West Indies batting has failed so far in this competition, and I thought that South Africa bowled poorly against India, although it was improved against Pakistan (who have had no form whatsoever), and they should have Dale Steyn back today.

Can the West Indies batting be totally written off though? We all know what they are capable off, and depending on what time the rain turns up, we could end up with a shortened match of 20-25 overs. And West Indies are current ICC World T20 Champions.

In short, I haven’t a clue what will happen today. Given the unpredictable nature of West Indies, the potential to choke from South Africa, and the British weather thrown into the mix as well, anything is possible.

Onto the outright winner market, and it’s all change again after Sri Lanka’s magnificent win over England yesterday.

Class tells in the end, and with their backs to the wall and in real danger of exiting the competition after just two matches, the class act that is Kumar Sangakkara showed the world why he is one of the best batsmen of his generation with a magnificent 134 not out against a fairly decent English attack.

As a result of yesterday’s defeat England have been pushed out in the betting. They are now third favourites in the outright winner champions trophy betting at 9/2, after having been 11/4 ahead of yesterday’s match.

Sri Lanka are in to 7/1 from 16/1, on the back of that magnificent win. Current ICC 50 Over World Champions, India still head the betting at 7/4.

Champions Trophy Betting

India 7/4
South Africa 7/2
England 9/2
New Zealand 6/1
Sri Lanka 7/1
West Indies 10/1
Australia 14/1

Champions Trophy Betting – Australia V New Zealand

The Kiwi’s must be relishing the chance to possibly kick their antipodean neighbours out of the Champions Trophy at such an early stage, if they can upset the odds and beat Australia at Edgbaston today.

The odds were heavily stacked in the Aussies favour. Yesterday, online bookmakers had Australia favourites at 4/6, and had New Zealand at 6/5. Personally, given current form, I thought that was a bit harsh on New Zealand.

Since then things have changed, and it has now emerged that David Warner has been stood down from today’s match for allegedly being involved in a late night altercation with an England player, rumoured to be the well built, Joe Root.

News of this seems to have been the catalyst for the punters to get stuck in to the Kiwi’s, as New Zealand are now into 11/10, with Australia drifting out to 8/11. This seems a bit more of a realistic price in my view.

Anyway, what would I know, I predicted a high scoring match between India and West Indies yesterday, and I clearly got that wrong. Although India did back up my theory that the previous low scoring game at The Oval was down to poor batting, by chasing down West Indies’ modest total with little fuss.

Back to today’s game, and look at the facts. New Zealand are in form, Australia aren’t. Australia are still without their best batsman – and now David Warner as well, so do they justify being favourites?

Surely this can only be down to previous results between the two, the fact that New Zealand are generally regarded as the ‘inferior team’ when it comes to playing Australia.

From the Kiwi’s point of view though, they have to ask themselves will they ever get a better chance to put the boot into Australia? This is their perfect chance to kick them while they are down.

The Edgbaston pitch seems to be playing in a competitive manner. Both games so far have been won by the team batting first, England with 269 and South Africa 234, so no one has got away yet and smashed a big total.

There is also rain in the air today, and I believe that these scrappy low scoring conditions play into the hands of teams like New Zealand and England. Obviously the toss will be important though, with the possibility of Duckworth/Lewis coming into play.

Outright Champions Trophy Betting

Pakistan are gone with a game still to play, as a result of India’s win yesterday. That win also sees India into outright favourite to win the Champions Trophy, the betting now has them in to a short looking 7/4.

West Indies are the big losers, their loss to India sees them drift from 11/2, out to 10/1.

Champions Trophy Betting

India 7/4
England 11/4
South Africa 9/2
New Zealand 13/2
Australia 10/1
West Indies 10/1
Sri Lanka 14/1