Archive for February, 2011

Broad backs England to make history

England bowler Stuart Broad believes England can defy expectations and win the Cricket World Cup for the first time.

England have struggled at the World Cup recently, failing to move beyond the quarter finals since 1992. They have reached the final three times, but have lost each time, and now Broad believes the current squad are more than capable of leaving a lasting mark on the current tournament in Asia.

“We have got to a few finals but not won it, but that is in the past – and since Andy Flower took over, we have been changing the history of English cricket.” He said before Sunday’s crucial game against India.

“We won our first ICC tournament in the Twenty20 World Cup and we won in Australia for the first time in 24 years – so we are achieving things other England teams haven’t.”

“We have the confidence of winning big tournaments, and that is important. This changing room is very different to the one that came here a couple of years ago.” He added.

England entered the tournament as sports betting underdogs after being crushed 6-1 in the ODI series against Australia prior to the tournament, but Broad will believe England can free themselves of their chequered history in the competition.

Broad missed out on most of the tour of Australia with a side injury, but returned to take two five wicket hauls in England’s warm up games prior to the tournament. The Nottinghamshire bowler took two wickets against the Netherlands, but admitted the performance was under-par, especially in the field.

“We did not get it right against the Netherlands. We threw overthrows; we dropped catches; we didn’t even go for catches at times; we bowled a bloke with three men in the circle.” He said.
“We just made silly errors that should not happen on an international field.

England take on India on Sunday in Bangalore in a crucial Group B match. The game was switched from Kolkta’s Eden Gardens after the stadium was ruled unfit to host the game.

February 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm 1 comment

Swann out to silence Indians

England spinner Graeme Swann is determined to cause something of an upset this weekend when they face co-hosts India in Bangalore, despite coming off the back of far from convincing six-wicket victory against Holland in their opening game. England very nearly lost the match against the Dutch and only passed their target with six balls to go, in a display that will have hardly had the Indian players quivering in terror.

“There is nothing better than silencing an Indian crowd. You don’t want them to be screaming all day, because it’s ear-shattering,” he said.

It will take a significantly improved display from England if they are going to have any chance of beating this much fancied Indian side, particularly with the ball and in the field. Swann and Stuart Broad managed to pick up two wickets against the Dutch but the rest of bowlers were all over the shop, Jimmy Anderson going for nearly seven an over. The latest cricket world cup betting odds suggested the game against India was going to be tough enough as it is, but England will now have to show some real determination to bounce back from such a poor display.

In the field England looked a completely different team to the one that has looked to be one of the tightest fielding units in the world over the past few years. The final ten overs saw England put down a host of chances in the field with Swann himself guilty of putting down a sitter.

MS Dhoni’s side will go into the match as heavy favourites and it will be up to England to spring a surprise in front of a partisan crowd inside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Nagpur.

February 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

England need to improve vastly

England will be pleased to have opened up their World Cup campaign with a win against Holland but the need for improvement from Andrew Strauss’s side is obvious. In the field, England were as poor as they have been since Andy Flower took charge of the squad and the bowlers were hardly much better. None of the bowlers will have been over the moon by their performance with the Dutch scoring freely and only Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad managed to pick up two wickets each.

Ryan ten Doeschate was the thorn in the English bowlers’ side with his stunning 119 to help the minnows to their highest ever score against a Test playing nation of 293. Jimmy Anderson was given a rough ride by the Dutch, no wickets coming from his ten overs while conceding over seven an over. Michael Yardy once again was left carrying the drinks and that forced Kevin Pietersen to turn his arm over, to the tune of eight runs an over. Anyone who had placed a cricket bet on England would have been very nervous at this point.

The English batsmen got their side out of jail with a professional job, securing the six wicket win with eight balls left. The new opening partnership of Strauss and Pietersen looked assured as they put on 105 for the opening wicket. After KP had gone for 39, Strauss and Jonathan Trott built on the good start and both past their half-centuries. Ravi Ropara took his side across the line with his 30-run cameo and the end and the win was secured, albeit a slightly tenser one than expected.

The mistakes will need to be eradicated for England’s next group game when they take on co-hosts India in Bangalore.

February 23, 2011 at 3:10 pm 2 comments

Strauss out for success

England captain Andrew Strauss is adamant his side can spring a surprise and win the upcoming World Cup, despite their 6-1 spanking at the hands of Australia in the recent one-day series defeat Down Under. England have finished runners-up at three World Cups in the past and will be looking to build on the success from last year’s T20 World Cup triumph.

The captain told Sky Sports News: “The 6-1 defeat to Australia was not ideal. We’re here to win it, and we feel like we’ve got an excellent chance. We’re excited about it, and I think the guys took a lot of confidence from the fact we won that Twenty20 tournament.”

The recent series loss aside, England’s morale going into the tournament will be good after their quality form over the past couple of years. The feel-good factor in the camp following the Ashes win will send the squad into the competition in a good state of mind but they will need to transfer that into their performances over the next couple of months on the sub-continent. The 2011 Cricket World Cup betting suggests they have a chance of winning the tournament, but they will have to adapt to unfamiliar conditions in order to do so.

After nine failed attempts to win the trophy England won’t go into the tournament as front-runners for success but showed last year that they can step-up on the big stage. There will be a number of England players who were forced to head home from Australia early with a various injuries but most of those players will be fit for the team’s opening game of the tournament against Holland on the 22nd.
Eoin Morgan is the only member of the squad who has been ruled out of the World Cup and the returning players should be fresh following their time recovering. Graeme Swann hasn’t flown out with the rest of the party, the fit again spinner will wait until the birth of his first child before heading out to meet up with the squad. The 2011 ICC World Cup tips indicate Swann will need to be at the top of his game if England are to win.

If England are going to be the dominant force in world cricket over the next five years then a tournament win here would definitely help that plan gain fruition. While England are probably the best Test side in world cricket at the moment, the series thumping against Australia showed that the one-day side is still someway away from the real top teams.

February 14, 2011 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

Swann confident he’ll be ready

England are still sweating over the fitness of a number of their bowling attack but none more so than off-spinner Graeme Swann, who had to return home from Australia early following a knee injury. The 31 year old joined fellow bowlers Ajmal Shahzad, Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad on the fitness table but the quartet are expected to be fit in time for opening group game against Holland on February 22nd.

England will be keen for as many of the injured party to play some part in the two pre-tournament warm-up games against Canada and Pakistan as they look to return to match fitness. Anyone following the cricket betting odds will now that Swann’s fitness is key to his side’s chances.

Swann’s presence in the England side will be essential if Andrew Strauss’s men are going to have any chance of challenging for the trophy this year. It is widely expected that spin is going to have a major part to play in this tournament on the dry, slow sub-continent pitches.

Without Swann England don’t have a spinner capable of leading the side through to the latter stages of the tournament. James Tredwell and Michael Yardy are very decent players but nowhere near what is needed on the world cricket’s biggest stage.

Swann has admitted that he isn’t 100% fit at the moment but the spinner was confident of recovering in time.

“I’m not fully fit but I’m getting there, I haven’t had a bowl yet. I’ll be doing that on Tuesday. I’m a little bit nervous about it but I should be fine,” he said.

February 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm 1 comment

Headache on the cards for England

England captain Andrew Strauss remains confident the side could still have a great World Cup despite their thrashing by Australia.

After the high of winning the Ashes over the winter, an injury-ravaged England was thrashed by Australia in the seven-day one-day international series, managing only one win and it has had a blow on their cricket world cup betting.

What could pose the biggest headache for Strauss and head coach Andy Flower is the growing injury list that has built up during the trip Down Under.

Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Paul Collingwood, Ajmal Shahazad and Chris Tremlett are all currently unfit, and batsman Eoin Morgan was added to the casualty list during the final ODI with a broken finger and anyone who has been following the cricket world cup betting news will be concerned.

The England captain stated the worries about key batsman Morgan were the “most serious injury concern” – with his concerns proven true as the player was ruled out and had to be replaced by Ravi Bopara – and he has faith the rest of the other casualties should clear up in time for the seven-week World Cup on the sub-continent.

Despite all the problems, Strauss reckons England can develop a game plan for success in the World Cup.

“I still feel very confidence we can do well in the World Cup but we need to play in a different manner,” he added.

England’s recent ODI opponents Australia have suffered some pre-World Cup woe of their own as Nathan Hauritz and Mike Hussey are both set to miss the tournament through injury.

February 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm 3 comments

Aussie injury list increases as well

It isn’t only England who a suffering with injuries ahead of the World Cup, Ashes opponents Australia are also nursing their wounds ahead of their flight to the sub-continent.
The most recent double blow came when Mike Hussey and Nathan Hauritz were both ruled out of the entire tournament.

Hussey suffered a serious hamstring injury during the one-day series against England that resulted in surgery. Hauritz also went under the knife after dislocating his shoulder while fielding during the one-day game in Hobart on January 21. Despite returning to the nets he was deemed not fit enough to last the pace of the 11-week long tournament and was left out. It will be upsetting for anyone who was looking forward to keeping track of the livescore during the competition.

Shaun Marsh and Xavier Doherty are the natural back-up choices for the sidelined duo but as they are carrying knocks of their own the Australian selectors need to look further.
In the end Callum Ferguson and Jason Krejza – who only made his One-Day debut at Perth on Sunday – have been called up as replacements.

Though not all of these injuries can be put down to fatigue the sheer number of games played during the winter tour has surely had an impact and it’s sad that fans of live cricket scores will miss out on seeing some of the game’s best players.

England, who were on tour for more than 100 days down under, have injury doubts over seven players and many believe the punishing schedule, most notably a post-Ashes seven-game one-day series that involved eight internal flight – is to blame.

Those players who are fit will only have three days back in England before jetting off to India for the tournament, which begins on February 19th.

If both England and Australia struggle to make an impact they may cite the series just gone as a factor and will hopefully raise the issue the next time the fixture planners gather round the table.

February 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm 3 comments

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