Cricket World Cup Semi-Finals Betting: Five things to look out for
A wicket-keeper batsman getting better and better from the match, England’s key under-the-radar bowler and injury issues from the Australian camp make Jamie Pacheco’s list of things to keep an eye out for in the semis…
Glove man could be Australia’s dangerman
It has not been fantastic tournament for wicket-keeper batsmen in the perspective of conducts. Quinton de Kock did ok but his performances were a far cry from the prolific run-getter of the past couple of decades, Jos Buttler looks strangely out of form and also low on confidence and the great MS Dhoni has made more headlines for his slow, conservative and unadventurous innings compared to swashbuckling ones of old. Even his concern was voiced by the great Sachin Tendulkar.
So the wicket-keeper batsmen community can at least be proud of their efforts of Alex Carey. His three fifties from nine innings might not look like something to write home about but they will need to be put into context. He’s almost always been asked to come in at seven and that is either to carry out a rescue action (New Zealand, West Indies), to get them over the line at a tough chase (South Africa) or to score quickly after a fantastic start. Whatever was needed him off he always did it.
With 329 runs he’s the team’s third highest scorer following David Warner and Aaron Finch. Together with Usman Khawaja fighting with a hamstring injury and Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis (himself fighting with trauma ) short of runs, it would not be any surprise to see Carey come in one or two places higher than usual on Thursday. You’ll see far worse bets compared to 10/1 about him high scoring for Australia against England when the semis come about.
In a effort so far jam-packed with off the-cuff selection choices by the Indian direction, it would be no surprise if the newest was that Ravindra Jadeja acquired a game in the semi-final.
He played for the first time that tournament against Sri Lanka, instead of Yuzvendra Chahal, who’d been expensive against England. Jadeja bowled 10 overs for just 40 runs, maintained the big wicket of Kusal Mendis, took a catch to dismiss the well-set HDRL Thrimanne, but wasn’t needed to bat.
He could keep his position in the group now with any one of Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav or Mohammad Shami missing out. There’s another reason why the Indian direction may stick . Or two, rather. Maybe only Virat Kohli is as good a fielder as him in the side and his presence in the group solves their problem in number eight.
Jadeja’s three-dimensional skills may provide India with a sort of safety valve. A contender for man-of-the-match from New Zealand in 16/1? Zealand’s opening venture was a tragedy. Colin Munro was so poor that he had been dropped two games back and his replacement Henry Nicholls hasn’t fared much better. Martin Guptill’s career numbers are extremely impressive but not at this World Cup: just one fifty in eight innings tells its own story.
It is all in stark contrast to India’s where both openers obtained tonnes against Sri Lanka on Saturday. Rohit Sharma has 647 runs, including five decades. KL Rahul has 360 runs like a century and two fifties and this despite the fact he has only opened in India’s last couple of games.
It goes a long way to explaining why India are so brief at 4/11 to win the game when they face New Zealand. And why it’s just 8/13 which India have the maximum opening partnership.
England man could make a roar
Liam Plunkett is among the less fussy and not as flashy players who’ll be playing at the semis but don’t underestimate his importance.
Strangely dropped for four matches despite not having done much wrong, he returned to the side when England were drinking in last-chance saloon, taking three wickets against India and one against New Zealand. And look at the economy rate: 5.5 at a high-scoring match against India and just 3.5 contrary to the Kiwis.
In a team filled with big characters, outspoken characters and gamers full of’Hollywood’ abilities, this quiet character who just gets on with it is as crucial as these. He’s 7/2 to be England bowler against Australia.