Cricket World Cup Semi-Finals Betting: Five things to look out for
A wicket-keeper batsman getting better and better by the game, England’s key under-the-radar bowler and injury problems from the Australian camp make Jamie Pacheco’s list of items to look out for in the semis…
Glove guy could be the dangerman of Australia
It hasn’t been great tournament for wicket-keeper batsmen in the point of view of conducts. Quinton de Kock did ok but his performances were a far cry from the prolific run-getter of the past couple of years, Jos Buttler looks strangely out of form and low on confidence and also the excellent MS Dhoni has made headlines for his slow, conservative and unadventurous innings compared to swashbuckling ones of old. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar voiced his concern.
Hence that the wicket-keeper batsmen community could be proud of their efforts of Alex Carey. His three inaugural from nine innings might not seem 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 act (New Zealand, West Indies), to get them on the line at a challenging chase (South Africa) or to score fast after a fantastic start. Whatever was needed him off he always did it.
With 329 runs he’s the team’s third greatest scorer after David Warner and Aaron Finch. With Usman Khawaja struggling with a hamstring injury and Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis (himself struggling with injury) short of conducts, it would not be any surprise to see Carey come in one or two places higher than normal on Thursday. You’ll see far worse bets compared to 10/1 about him top scoring for Australia from England when the semis come about.
In a effort so far jam-packed with away the-cuff selection decisions by the Indian direction, it’d not be a surprise if the newest was that Ravindra Jadeja got a match in the semi-final.
He played the first time this tournament against Sri Lanka, instead of Yuzvendra Chahal, who had been pricey against England. Jadeja bowled 10 overs for just 40 runs, claimed the big wicket of Kusal Mendis, took a catch to dismiss that the well-set HDRL Thrimanne, but was not required to bat.
He could well keep his position in the team now with any one of Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav or Mohammad Shami missing out. There’s another reason why the Indian management could stick . Or two, instead. Maybe only Virat Kohli is as good a fielder as him in the side and his existence in the group solves their problem in number eight.
Jadeja’s three-dimensional abilities may supply India with a type of safety valve. A contender for man-of-the-match against New Zealand in 16/1? Zealand’s opening partnership was a tragedy. Colin Munro was so poor he had been dropped two games back and his replacement Henry Nicholls has not 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’s all in stark contrast to India’s where both openers got tonnes from Sri Lanka on Saturday. Rohit Sharma has 647 runs, including five centuries. KL Rahul has 360 runs including a century and two fifties and this despite the fact he has just opened in India’s last couple of matches.
It goes a long way to explaining why India are so short at 4/11 to win the match when they face New Zealand. And why it is only 8/13 that India have the maximum opening partnership.
England man could make a roar
Liam Plunkett is among the less fussy and less flashy players who will be playing at the semis but do not underestimate his significance.
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 from India and one against New Zealand. And look at that economy rate: 5.5 at a high-scoring match against India and only 3.5 contrary to the Kiwis.
In a group full of big characters, outspoken characters and players filled with’Hollywood’ abilities, this quiet character who just gets on with it is as crucial as these. He is 7/2 to be England’s top bowler against Australia.