Cricket World Cup TipsRay Corniche - 20:03, 26th March 2015
Co-hosts Australia and New Zealand have set up a dream final at the MCG in the early hours of Sunday morning with Australia favourites to come out on top. Tom Powell tipped that outcome way back in January but has also picked out two best bets for the final itself...
Australia v New Zealand (Sun, 03:30, Sky Sports 2)
First of all, based on the odds on offer for the final New Zealand are huge value at 41/20. Yes, I tipped Australia pre-tournament but based simply on the odds for the final the Blackcaps are the value. They are unbeaten so far in the tournament and importantly their runs have been shared around with Guptill, McCullum, Elliott and Williamson hitting match winning scores. It's also well worth noting that these sides have already met in the tournament with New Zealand coming out on top (albeit by just one wicket) so Australia having 'home advantage' shouldn't be an issue. New Zealand have been more impressive so look a huge price at bigger than 2/1!
Second up is Glenn Maxwell to top score for Australia. Maxwell has never nailed a permanent position in Australia's batting line up, he was in at four in the semis and six in the quarters so he generally is called upon when he is needed. But his need is usually to keep momemtum going so if Australia get a good start then lose a wicket they are likely to bring him in to keep the run rate up. He's managed scores of 102, 88 and 66 so far in the tournament and although other Aussie batsmen have also hit big scores they are much shorter than the 8/1 on offer with Maxwell.
Tom’s recommended tip:
Australia to win @ 7/2 – BET NOW (Now 2/5)
Australia went into the New Year as 7/2 shots to win the Cricket World Cup but are now into a best price 21/10 after a solid start to 2015. Comprehensive wins in the short form of the game in series’ against South Africa and India at the back end of 2014 was followed up with a Triangular Series victory over England and India leading up to the start of this tournament.
Despite a reveival in their test form it’s the 50 over game where they’ve been most impressive in recent times as they’ve moved up to first in the ODI rankings ahead of India and Sri Lanka. The transition period following the retirement of the Golden Generation looks almost complete with a settled squad in place and readily picking up results. The other key pluses for my selection are of course home advantage, the conditions are clearly going to suit Australia and New Zealand much more than the sub-continental sides while South Africa (who should enjoy the conditions) have dropped to fourth in the ODI rankings and are going through a transitional period themselves in terms of personnel.
Australia have arguably been drawn in the more straightforward pool. Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand are the big names in their side of the draw with India, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand all in Pool B. With the likes of George Bailey (number three ranked ODI batsman) and Aaron Finch, Shane Watson and David Warner (all in the top 10 in the T20 batsmen rankings) they have a powerful batting line up. There may have been question marks over the bowling attack but home pitches should aid them in that respect while the form of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc in particular in the Triangular Series is a huge plus.
Tom’s view on the other main contenders…
South Africa (7/2): Should do well in the conditions but have lost some huge names of late (Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis etc.) and have dropped to fourth in the ODI rankings. Don't be fooled by comprehensive recent wins over the West Indies.
New Zealand (6/1): Should go well and won’t be an easy team to beat in the latter stages. Have looked good in warm up matches against Sri Lanka but suddenly look a touch short at 6/1. Sould go deep in the tournament though.
Sri Lanka (10/1): An ageing side who rely too heavily on key players to get big scores and take the bulk of their wickets, their pace attack won’t do much in these conditions either. Struggled in recent series with New Zealand.
England (10/1): Some firms go as short as 6/1 but the English haven’t even reached the final since 1992. Always guaranteed to fall short but have done better than expected in the lead up.
Pakistan (18/1): Far too inconsistent and drawn in a tough group. Down as low as sixth in the rankings.