Archive for August, 2011
A composite team of the most productive players in Test series are not always representative of the balance of power between the respective teams, but the indisputable case made by nine English players and just Two Indians says everything about how one-sided the current Test series has been.
The captain-in-waiting proved his rock-solid temperament by reeling of a stunning chanceless 294 after mustering only 20 runs in four innings. Fans of betting will have been very impressed.
A failure away from being dropped in 2008, ‘The Wall’ is now the most indispensible batsman in India’s line-up. His technique against the swinging ball has been exemplary, as 302 runs from six knocks testifies.
He has passed 50 only once, paying the price for over-confidence and a desire to impose himself on the opposition in order to regain the number three spot. However, that one big knock, at Trent Bridge, was crucial, if not without controversy. He does not need to force the scoring rate, it comes naturally for a player in the form of his life.
The leading runscorer in the series with 358 runs. His double century at Lord’s could be more career-defining than his famous 158 against Australia in 2005. It proved he could play the situation as well as all the shots.
Praveen has exposed his shaky defence against the second new ball, a serious question mark over a Test number six. Nonetheless perky innings at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston have proved his worth as a middle order accelerator. The online sports betting reflects this.
The best keeper-batsman in world cricket, whose stunning Test form makes his One Day international struggles hard to fathom. He is averaging 63.25 at a strike rate of 87.84.
The big Yorkshireman has played nine, won nine in Tests and is more than a lucky charm. Two 50s from three innings and 12 wickets at 14.75 shows why Chris Tremlett faces a tough task to regain his place.
A genuine all-rounder whose heroics at Trent Bridge might be the highlight of his career. 21 wickets at 11.95 have answered his critics in style.
The world’s best spinner has been a virtual bystander in England’s rout but has still been the best tweaker on show.
The sole plus point in India’s bowling unit, Praveen has troubled England with his ability to swing new and old ball both ways. Suddenly the first seamer on the team sheet.
He is progressing steadily up England’s all-time wicket-taking charts and being at the peak of his powers has plenty of wickets still to take. Masterful in all conditions, he is surely the most in-form paceman in Test cricket.
Lancashire are through to the finals day of the Friends Life Twenty20 cricket competition. The northerners clubbed Sussex at the County Ground in Hove, last week, to cement their place in the semi-final of the tournament at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on August 27, 2011. The visitors won by 20 runs, scoring 152, compared to Sussex’s 132.
Batsman, Karl Brown, was an essential part of Lancashire’s victory. The 23-year-old scored 44 runs from 31 balls, including a lofty six that left the ground, landing “in the road”. Brown claimed a total of four sixes and one four in the limited-overs fixture. However, he was outmatched on the scoreboard by fellow Lancashire player, Paul Horton, who claimed an impressive 49 runs from 45 balls. Anyone following the cricket betting odds will have been impressed.
Sussex batsman, Murray Goodwin, described as “key” for the home side, suffered a deceptively painful injury while fielding; he split the webbing between the fingers of his right hand. His performance at the crease, when he was finally able to return to play, was unimpressive.
Goodwin hit ten runs from nine balls, before Sri Lankan bowler, Farveez Maharoof, stole the Rhodesian’s wicket.
Lancashire will now play bottom-of-the-league Leicestershire at the finals day, later this month. Leicestershire are 16 places below Lancashire in the County Championship.
The fixture may appear easy for Lancashire, who are currently favourites for the title in Division One, but the club have only recently broken the apparent curse surrounding their finals appearances in the Friends Life Twenty20. This year’s event marks the first time in three years that Lancashire has progressed beyond the quarterfinals in the competition. The Michael Vaughan Betting Tips suggest finals day will be very tight.
Hampshire, another club that is floundering in the depths of the league, will contest the second semi-final, against Somerset. The south-westerners are no stranger to the limited-overs tournament, having been squashed in the final on two prior occasions. Somerset captain, Marcus Trescothick, says that his side now have “nothing to lose”.
Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan will play Test cricket today, in England’s match against India. The duo were called up to replace Jonathan Trott, who has succumbed to a shoulder injury, and Chris Tremlett. Tremlett is struggling with a “bulging disc” in his back, a complaint that saw him miss the previous Test match at Trent Bridge.
Ian Bell will take Trott’s position in the batting order, at number three, while Bopara bats at six. Those following the Betfair cricket odds will be wondering how they will get on.
Bopara has not played a Test match for England since August 2009, when the side faced Australia in the Ashes. However, team captain, Andrew Strauss, is confident that the Londoner will “come in, and perform straightaway”.
“We are all delighted that Ravi has got a chance”, Strauss said. “He has been knocking on the door for quite a long time.”
Ravi has scored three centuries in his Test career, but he was ousted after a disappointing performance at Headingley in 2009. Fittingly, he was replaced by Trott, who went on to score 119 on his debut Ashes appearance; Trott has now surrendered his spot in the squad to the awaiting Bopara. Pundits like Michael Vaughan Betfair ambassador will be wondering how he’ll get on.
Bopara was denied a place in the England team earlier this year, when Irishman, Eoin Morgan, was selected ahead of him, to play against Sri Lanka. Ravi says that his absence from the team sheet made him “even more determined” to play for England.
“At no stage did I think, ‘I’m not going to get a chance again’”, Bopara explained.
Steven Finn has also been called up as a reserve for Tremlett. James Taylor, an important part of the England Lions’ match against Sri Lanka, last week, lost out to Bopara.
England are currently riding the crest of a wave in Test cricket and former great Andrew Flintoff reckons they have proved already they are the best team in the world.
The retired star, who played in the Ashes-winning sides of 2005 and 2009, has hailed the squad assembled by Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss as one with “no weak links” and a “swagger” that comes with knowing they can beat anyone.
England currently lead India 2-0 in a best-of-four Test match series knowing a victory by two clear matches will see the hosts leapfrog them to be officially ranked as the best Test side in the world – for the first time in their history. The cricket odds suggest this will happen.
In the two matches so far England have dominated their opponents with the bat and ball and a number of players have stepped up to the mark and made a huge impression on the Indian side.
Flintoff reckons the strength in depth of the current England Test side is “incredible” and it is a better team that the 2005 Ashes-winning side that captured the nation’s hearts.
“England are the best team in the world already. Not just in ranking, but also in strength. They have got everything. I don’t see why they can’t dominate for a long time,” he said.
India have received a blow ahead of the rest of the Test with the news that Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh are both ruled out through injury for the series. Those placing cricket bets will wonder what impact this will have on them.
It adds to injury concerns already hanging over Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir as India look to mount a comeback in the Test series, with the next match taking place at Edgbaston.