England Play It Safe With Squad To Face Scotland

England’s first squad under the latest Peter Moores’ era was named on Thursday, and unsurprisingly, there wasn’t wholesale changes.

As one who is hoping for a bit of freshening up within the England team, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I understand the need for playing safe, but on the other hand, was now not the time to experiment?

With all the changes across the board, new coach, new selector, KP’s sacking, the removal of Graham Gooch and probable removal of David Saker, I can understand the need for not making wholesale changes to the England team as well – without wishing to contradict myself, it does make sense.

I just hope that over the course of the English summer though, that some players may be eased aside, and some fresh blood brought in.

My only real negative and concern with this squad, is that with it being more of the same, is this what we will continue to get? Only time will tell if my concerns are correct.

As well as the need for freshening up the England team with some younger blood, I hope that communication between management and players is also improved upon.

Reading between the lines (which is all I can do), I got the impression that communication seemed to be a big problem in Australia, so I hope that is something that will be resolved under Perter Moores.

For example I hope that someone has put a call into Steven Finn and said that he is still well in England’s plans, and that he has only been left out of this squad so he can concentrate on playing for Middlesex and getting ‘Overs bowled’ under his belt, and rebuilding his rhythm and confidence (assuming this is the reason for his omission).

The reason why I say this, is I get the impression he was just left to his own devices and ignored in Australia. It seemed like Finn’s problems were only finally noticed when Ashley Giles turned up after the Ashes and sent him home as there was no point in him remaining in Australia.

What was going on prior to that? It seems like no one was communicating or paying any attention to Finn. This is another reason why David Saker’s removal may be inevitable.

There is certainly plenty of room for improvement within the England set up, and they don’t want to get the Moores’ era off to a disastrous start by losing against Scotland, so as I already said, I get the safety first approach.

The safety first approach is reflected in the betting, as the bookies don’t appear to be envisioning any such problems for England as they make Alastair Cook’s team heavy favourites at a best price of 1/12 with Boylesports to win the one off match in Aberdeen on Friday (9th May).

As already pointed out by various cricket journalists, at this time of the year frost may even come into play at such a northern venue as Aberdeen in May, but even the Scotland players probably won’t be that familiar with playing on grounds that may have been covered in frost the previous night.

Given that the conditions will probably play no part in the Scotland team’s chances, it is probably no massive surprise to see them come in at a best price of 15/2 with Paddy Power to cause a major upset.

India V Australia ODI Series – Live Betting

The top two ranked one day international sides go head to head in India in a series that could potentially see a change at the top of the ICC ODI rankings.

India lead the rankings, and Australia are second. A 5-2 series win for the Aussies would see them acquire enough ranking points to take over top spot again.

The series starts on 10th October with a Twenty20, followed by (just the) seven 50 Over internationals.

Australian skipper Michael Clarke is out injured, meaning George Bailey will again lead the team in his absence. It is probably a series Australia could do without, as they will surely be focusing more on the upcoming Ashes.

Not only do India have home advantage, they are also the current 50 Over World Champions, and recently added to their collection by winning the last ever Champions Trophy beating England earlier in the year.

Given all that it’s not surprising that India start the series as clear favourites.

India V AustraliaClick here for LIVE BETTING ODDS

Full Fixtures

10th Oct – India V Australia – Only T20 – Rajkot

13th Oct – India V Australia – 1st ODI – Pune

16th Oct – India V Australia – 2nd ODI – Jaipur

19th Oct – India V Australia – 3rd ODI – Mohali

23rd Oct – India V Australia – 4th ODI – Ranchi

26th Oct – India V Australia – 5th ODI – Cuttack

30th Oct – India V Australia – 6th ODI – Nagpur

2nd Nov – India V Australia – 7th ODI – Bangalore

Celkon Mobile Cup Betting

Yet another one day international tournament starting later this week, this time a three-way competition – known as the Celkon Mobile Cup –  between West Indies, India and Sri Lanka, to be held in the Caribbean.

The Celkon Mobile Cup is a 7 match tri-series competition that will be played at two grounds, Sabina Park in Jamaica, and the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. It is a seven match tournament taking place from 28th June to 11th July, with each team playing the other two teams twice in a round-robin format, with the top two contesting the final in Trinidad on 11th July.

Not without controversy, the tri-series is basically the result of the scrapping, or rescheduling (whatever way you wish to look at it), of a Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka, due to be played last May. The two boards conveniently decided that this was a better option, and with a lot of their players due to be at the IPL at the time, they may well have had a point.

The fact that India have now been drafted in to the itinerary leads the cynic in me to believe that the original decision was taken more with this competition in mind, as opposed to the decision being taken with the best interests of Test cricket at heart.

Anyway enough of me moaning.

After their ICC Champions Trophy victory last Sunday, and confirmation of their status as the best ODI team in the world, it is no surprise to see India as favourites in the cricket betting to also win this competition.

In the outright winner betting, the online bookmakers currently have India as 11/8 favourites, host side West Indies at 7/4, and Sri Lanka at 9/4.

From a betting perspective, the tournament appears to have credibility. All three competing nations have named their strongest squads, so at least the prices we are seeing in the betting odds can be taken as fair.

According to the weather forecasts, there appears to be a bit of rain in the air over the next couple of days, in the form of thunder storms. In this part of the world, this can be hit or miss, but never the less, this is a factor that needs to be taken into account when betting… what with the possibility of Duckworth/Lewis, etc.

It also brings the Betfair ‘Completed Match Market’ into play, which can be more fun than actually betting on cricket at times.

The first match is today at Sabina Park, and sees West Indies taking on Sri Lanka. West Indies are favourites at 8/11, and Sri Lanka are 11/10.

Champions Trophy Betting – England V India

I’ve heard all last week that this is the final that everyone wanted, and organisers dreamed off. They’ve all got it now, so lets hope it’s a better game than the two semi-finals were, otherwise it could end up being a bit of a damp squib.

I’m not going to try to call this one, as I haven’t a clue. The odds for the Champions Trophy betting see India at 4/6, and England are 6/5.

On one hand India have looked imperious in this competition. They have only been under pressure the once, for a brief period in the opening game against South Africa, when AB de Villiers and Robin Peterson were seemingly coasting to India’s total of 331/4 in a 3rd wicket stand.

Once that partnership of 124 was broken, victory was reasonably comfortable. Since then, India have swatted West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aside with ease. The wins have been so comfortable that the middle order has hardly had a bat since the opening day of the tournament.

Could that prove to be a problem for India today? Possibly, assuming England can get through to the middle order, that is.

On the other hand conditions at Edgbaston today should suit England. It is a damp, windy, miserable day, and there is rain in the air. England have by far the stronger seam attack, and if the conditions suit Jimmy Anderson and England bowl first, he could well exploit any morning moisture and make the new ball do plenty of talking.

England’s middle order haven’t really fired yet (apart from a couple of brief cameos from Ravi Bopara), and the form of Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan has to be a worry for the England management. Assuming Graeme Swann is passed fit, I’m not sure who will play out of him and Tredwell (I’d go with Tredwell myself), and there is a decision to be made between Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan.

Bresnan’s batting might come into the thinking when making a decision, mainly down to the misfiring middle order.  

The toss will be vital with possible swing in the air early on. Rain is due later though, and the prospect of Duckworth/Lewis coming into play will also have to be taken into account when deciding whether to bat first or second.

I hope the rain doesn’t spoil it, as all in all it has been quite an entertaining tournament. It is widely expected that this will be the last ever ICC Champions Trophy, and if it is, at least it has had a good send off. Let’s hope we get a final to finish with.

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 – Australia V Sri Lanka

It’s great that at this stage of the tournament there is still six teams who are officially still in with a chance of lifting the Champions Trophy, although looking at the permutations just for Australia to qualify for the semi’s, I’d confidently say that there are only really five teams still with a realistic chance of being the last nation to lift the trophy.

And the Aussies are not even favourites to win the game outright today, never mind qualify. Sri Lanka are 8/11, Australia 11/10.

To qualify for the semi-finals, Australia will need to hammer Sri Lanka today. If batting first, Australia need to win by (approximately) more than 120 runs. If they bat second, it will obviously depend on what Sri Lanka get, but it is safe to say that the Aussies will have to knock whatever runs they are chasing off in far less than their allocated overs.

Sri Lanka just need to win, and if they do win they qualify at the expense of New Zealand. A wash out puts New Zealand through on net run rate. Or an Aussie win by a relatively smallish margin will see the Kiwi’s through.

The match is being played at the Oval. The new pitch used on Thursday by England and Sri Lanka provided plenty of runs, but today is expected to see plenty of cloud and patches of rain. So it could be a day for the bowlers (he says with little confidence).

Onto the outright winner betting, and with New Zealand waiting on today’s result to see if they are to further participate in the tournament, their cricket betting odds have drifted from 6/1 to 12/1. England meanwhile, have been cut from 5/1 to 9/4, following yesterday’s qualification for the semi-finals.

There is still a little chance Sri Lanka might top Group A, ahead of England. A reasonably large beating of Australia today would see Sri Lanka top the group. That would put England into a semi-final against India, and lead to England’s price drifting.

Australia are now out to 20/1, which looks very short to me considering their task today against Sri Lanka. I’d want 20/1 on them qualifying for the semi-finals, never mind winning the tournament.

Champions Trophy Betting

India 7/4
England 9/4
South Africa 11/4
Sri Lanka 7/1
New Zealand 12/1
Australia 20/1

Cricket Betting Carnage On Betfair

Trading cricket on Betfair can be a volatile business, and yesterday’s on-off game between India and Pakistan seen absolute carnage on the betting exchanges. The market in question was the completed match market.

20 overs a side constitutes a match in this Champions Trophy, that is the minimum amount of overs both sides have to face to achieve an official result (unless a team gets bowled out in less than 20 overs).

The completed match market is where you can bet on whether there is an official result. ie, the recent washed out Champions Trophy game between Australia and New Zealand was a ‘no result,’ so in the completed match market, it would have been ‘No.’

Yesterday’s game between India and Pakistan had an official result (India won), so in the completed match market, it was ‘Yes.’

At various stages yesterday, the match looked certain to be a wash out, and at various stages it looked certain to be completed. At times the completed match market on Betfair looked to be all over the place, punters seem to get spooked very easily and panic seems to always ensue.

I can’t work out whether people are betting on what they think will happen, or how they think the market will behave, or just in blind panic.

To clarify that last statement in a bit more detail…. sometimes I might not know whether a match will be completed or not, so I won’t have a bet on it.

If the players are off the pitch for rain, the sight of a bit of blue sky, or covers coming off the wicket, will usually trigger a betting surge in the market, meaning I can back ‘Yes’ in the completed match market, and then trade out (for hopefully a nice profit) when the price plunges. And vice versa if the players are on the field and it starts to rain.

This is more what I would call cricket trading, as opposed to cricket betting.

Anyway, back to yesterday. And the screenshot below shows just how much money was traded on the ‘completed match market’ outcome.

At one stage yesterday when Pakistan were batting, during the first rain break, the ‘No’ outcome was trading down at odds on, in the belief that a large storm was heading to Birmingham later in the day.

Then after that threat had passed over with limited damage and while India batted early in their (reduced) innings, ‘Yes’ was trading at down below 1.10. Then while they were off for the final rain interruption ‘No’ was trading at sub 1.05 as shown above.

I then watched as the ‘No’ price went from under 1.05 to around 4/1 in a matter of about two minutes as the covers were removed. This wasn’t a massive surprise, the surprise was that the ‘No’ outcome had got backed down to as low as it did. It was absolute carnage.

This just goes to show the opportunities that are there to profit from trading cricket on Betfair. It can be costly if you get it wrong, but can be brilliant when you get it right. I think the trick is too lay at low prices, so if you do find yourself on the wrong side of the outcome your losses are minimal.

The screenshot above is testament to this, you would had been far better off laying 1.05. If you lay £100.00 at that price you lose a fiver. So what!

This is where we get the value. A bet at Even money in these events is pretty much a toss of a coin gamble (unless you trade straight out for a small profit), more akin to a Casino bet. Whereas a lay at odds like sub 1.10, is a calculated risk.

It’s not always the case, and every event should be judged on it’s own merits, but at least you shouldn’t go bankrupt laying at those prices….. like some people probably did yesterday.

Champions Trophy Betting – England V New Zealand

Not quite a straight knock out, as New Zealand would still have a chance to qualify if they lose today (they would need Australia to beat Sr Lanka, but not by enough to make their net run rate better than New Zealand’s) . England on the other hand, are out if they lose.

Rain is also likely to play apart in the outcome. In which case a wash out would see the Kiwi’s go through, and England relying on other results (again, an Aussie win against Sri Lanka, but this time not by enough to put them above England on net run rate).

The hosts start as favourites, England are 4/6, and New Zealand are 6/5.

For England Graeme Swann is injured, but Jonathan Trott is passed fit to play. The absence of Swann is not the disaster for England it would have been 18 months or so back, as James Tredwell has proved himself to be a more than adequate replacement.

Trott’s inclusion will no doubt upset his ODI knockers, but he is a major part of the English blueprint for playing at home (at the very least).

The Kiwi’s are without Tim Southee, which is a big blow for them, although he is yet to take a wicket for them in this tournament.

Previous results on this ground in the Champions Trophy don’t give any clues as to what sort of wicket it is, as they have seen high and low scoring matches. Along with the weather, expect another toss of the coin outcome.

In the outright Champions Trophy betting, Sri Lanka have been cut from 10/1 to 7/1 overnight without bowling a ball (or a match being played in their group). It appears cricket bettors have finally woken up and realised they have world class players, who can play in these (English) conditions.

Apart from that there is no real overall change in the outright winner betting. India are still favourites, they have been slightly cut from 7/4 to 13/8. While South Africa have been gently eased from 9/4 to 5/2.

Champions Trophy Betting

India 13/8
South Africa 5/2
England 5/1
New Zealand 6/1
Sri Lanka 7/1
Australia 16/1

Champions Trophy Betting – India V Pakistan

It’s a shame there isn’t a lot more riding on this game as there currently is with Pakistan already out of the tournament. The schedule was perfect, a Saturday fixture in the final group match for both these teams, with the potential for a winner takes all knock out.

Unfortunately that’s not the case as Pakistan have had a poor tournament and were the first team to be eliminated. That’s not to say that this game is irrelevant, as it obviously isn’t….. as when on earth is a fixture between these two teams ever irrelevant?

India go in to the fixture as 8/15 favourites, Pakistan are 6/4.

Not sure I’d be taking India at 8/15 when they have already qualified and may choose to rotate a couple of players. I think I would be wanting to know the Indian team first.

India may also have the bigger picture on their minds, as they have the chance to hold both ICC 50 Over Trophies. While for Pakistan, they will surely be right up for this game. Today’s fixture is effectively their final, and it would certainly make arriving back home next week a lot more comfortable if they can defeat India here today.

The match is being played at Edgbaston, and the conditions will be typically British with plenty of wind, and some rain expected. I’m not expecting this to be conducive to high scoring, and Pakistan’s form with the bat doesn’t suggest they are likely to contradict that opinion.

Outright Winner Champions Trophy Betting

West Indies are now out after their remarkable tie with South Africa yesterday. The Proteas now find themselves into 9/4 second favourites in the betting to lift the trophy.

It was an amazing finish to what turned out to be a remarkable game. I’d imagine that West Indies are kicking themselves this morning.

Could this turn out to be the catalyst that South Africa need to finally win a major tournament? On the whole, they have a side that looks more than capable. It’s just winning that initial tournament in the first place to get them going.

Outright Winner Champions Trophy Betting

India 7/4
South Africa 9/4
England 5/1
New Zealand 6/1
Sri Lanka 10/1
Australia 16/1