After trading at odds on favourites earlier in the competition, West Indies don’t even make the final. This tournament has basically now turned on it’s head as India make a late charge and look to add another trophy to their ODI repertoire.
The Indian comeback is quite remarkable really, a few days back they looked dead and buried in this competition. There is even a possibility that their inspirational leader MS Dhoni could be back today, according to reports he is touch and go to play.
Personally I think it may be in India’s interests to see how they play a big match without him, to see if they are over dependant on him or not – but that’s just my view.
The weather shows there is a possible shower in the air today, although conditions are expected to be better today after the recent rain interruptions (bare in mind all three of the matches so far in Port-of-Spain have been won by the team batting first and under the Duckworth/Lewis method).
I have to admit that I did write on this blog yesterday that I couldn’t see past an Aussie win in this match, although in fairness, in what can only be described as a touch of fence sitting, I did also advise caution as Pakistan have the attack well suited to maximize the Headingley condiditons.
And they certainly did just that.
Either way, it was some days cricket. I have waited years to see that happen to Australia, shame it couldn’t have been an English attack that did it though, but never mind.
In the betting, Pakistan are now into 8/15 with Stan James to finally beat the Aussies, who are now 5/2 with Bet365. The draw is 8/1 with Totesport.
I wasn’t too accurate in saying a draw looked nailed on in Galle either, another crazy day there saw 12 wickets fall. India are now on the brink of defeat, and maybe the wicket wasn’t that batsman friendly after all.
One thing that is for sure, is that either India’s batting or bowling, or maybe both hasn’t been up to scratch as they are being outplayed by Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka are now favourites to wrap up the win at a best price of 1/4 with Paddy Power, the draw is now out to 10/3 with Bet365, and India are 150/1 with Stan James, although 1000/1 would be more accurate.
As expected the 1st test between Sri Lanka and India looks to be heading for a tame draw. A mixture of rain, bad light and the awful anti-cricket pitches they prepare in Sri Lanka has meant that this match looks likely to have no result.
The draw looks the obvious outcome, but at 1/5 is way too short to back.
In the 2nd test between Australia and Pakistan starting at Headingley tomorrow, it is no great shock to find that Australia are favourites to win at a best price of 8/11 with Stan James.
The unpredictable Pakistan are a large looking 13/2 with Totesport and Bet365, quite a large price for a team with a seam attack comprising of Gul, Asif and Ammer, and bowling at Headingley.
But then the fact that Australia have beaten them in their last 13 tests would suggest why the price is so large.
The draw, or a lot of rain as it could be Pakistan’s best chance of a result is 12/5 with Sportingbet.
Pakistan have Salman Butt starting his first game as captain. He was by far their best batsman at Lord’s, so they will be hoping the extra pressure won’t effect his scoring.
In a further boost to their team, the retirement of Afridi has opened the door for the return of Shoaib Malik to come in and shore up the batting. Australia look set to remain unchanged.
For me it is hard to see past an Australian win. But I would be cautious about this one, because when Pakistan bowl if the conditions are right they have a seam attack well equiped to exploit the Headingley conditions.
Test cricket is on the agenda as Sri Lanka host India in a 3 match test series starting on Sunday in Galle.
Historically, Sri Lankan wickets are batsmen friendly to say the least, and with the main strengths of these two sides lying in their batting it comes as no surprise to see the best odds available for a drawn 1st test are as short as 10/11 with Stan James.
With home advantage and Muralitharan 8 wickets short of getting 800 victims, Sri Lanka are 9/4 with Ladbrokes and William Hill.
The Indian batting is back at full strength, but in the bowling department they have no Zaheer Khan available, with the only real experience provided by Harbhajan Singh and Ishant Sharma.
Can see them getting plenty of runs, but can’t see them getting the 20 wickets required to win the test, the Indians can be backed at a best price of 4/1 with Paddy Power.
At the moment I can’t see past the draw, but at odds on it looks too short for me to entertain. A lay of India on Betfair is currently trading at 5.8 (a touch under 5/1), so would have to be treated with caution as well.
I think that the wait and see policy applys for this test.