Archive for April, 2010
With central contracts and a very busy international cricket schedule, it isn’t very often England’s cricketers get to play for their county.
When they do though, it is always good when they show some form, especially ahead of an important few months for the national team.
With this in mind, it is good news for England that James Anderson and Stuart Broad – the men likely to lead the bowling attack for some time to come – have taken plenty of wickets for their counties in their last couple of days. This news could see England’s World Twenty20 betting odds shorten ahead of the tournament.
Let’s start with Anderson, who wasted no time in making an impression against Essex in the County Championship this week. He took 6-44 in Essex’s first innings, blowing them apart with his accurate away swingers. Since then he has taken the first two wickets in the Essex second innings as well.
It seems to fair to say that he is back to full fitness. This, in itself, would have been good news for Andrew Strauss. However, the fact he is showing some signs of his best form is a massive bonus.
Sure, playing Essex in the County Championship isn’t the same as playing the best international teams in the World Twenty20, but you get the feeling Anderson is in good shape following his injury lay off.
As for Broad, he produced one of his trademark bursts of wickets for Nottinghamshire against Somerset yesterday. The England man took five wickets in eight overs, including three scalps without conceding a run.
This followed three wickets in the first innings, so it has been a good match so far for Broad. Overall, he and Anderson have had a superb start to the English summer. Let’s hope it continues as the team head out to compete in the World Twenty20 next month.
Meanwhile, in football news, the World Cup 2010 odds make England third favourites for the tournament, and they have every chance of winning the competition.
Shane Warne isn’t one to hold back his opinion on cricket matters. Given all he has achieved in the game though, it is an opinion that is widely respected. So, what are the Australian legend’s views on England’s latest bowling coach David Saker?
Well, he believes that Saker – who succeeds Ottis Gibson in the role – will help England both on and off the pitch. Warne says that he is a “fantastic bowling coach” who will be “excellent for the England dressing room”.
This is a crucial element to being a successful coach after all. It is all very well being a decent coach, but with long tours meaning everyone spends a lot of time together, it is important the coaching staff bring something to the dressing room too.
Speaking specifically about Saker’s character, Warne says he can be “in-your-face at times” and he is “pretty aggressive”. However, the Australian tends to get results and Warne clearly thinks that the ECB have made a wise appointment.
If the last time England had an Australian bowling coach is anything to go by, it should bring the best out of the England bowlers. Troy Cooley – who is now coaching Australia’s attack – was involved in the 2005 Ashes win and produced great performances from the likes of Simon Jones, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard.
England will now be hoping that Saker can do the same with the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The next Ashes series is this winter after all and England’s Test cricket odds suggest they will struggle.
Clearly England captain Andrew Strauss will hope his bowlers are at the top of their game come the first test.
Meanwhile, in football news, Spain are still favourites in the World Cup 2010 betting.