Googlie Cricket blog, the home of World Cup news, information, scores and innuendo!
Forget the Indian Premier League, forget the Ashes, forget match-fixing and the side-effects of steroid injected chickens; it’s all about 50 (overs; not the rapper).
For five years the dreary format has suffered a personality disorder similar to that of an ugly step-sister in a family of maiden beauties. Cropped out of family photos and told to wait its’ turn, One Day Cricket’s wedding day has finally arrived, the 2011 ICC World Cup.
To date, World Cup news stations and ill-informed cricketing craniums have copulated dreams of an unprecedented fourth successive victory for Australia, this is romantic at best. Much like a magician’s sleight of hand, the real favorites have until now gone under the radar; those teams born and raised in the sub-continent, thriving in the local conditions.
It is with just a smidgen of confidence I can state, a sub-continental team will win the 2011 ICC World Cup, largely due to the following reasons:
- ‘Spin will Win’ the 2011 World Cup, there is no doubt. Without it you are dead in the water. Don’t blame Krazy Krezja for Australia’s predicament; blame the waiter for serving the dish cold. You don’t need to subscribe to World Cup news to know this, just look at past results.
- The sub-continent is a beautiful part of the world, but also densely crowded and at times claustrophobic. For some touring parties a month on tour will feel like a trek through Hell’s Kitchen whilst getting ear-fuc|<ed by Gordon Ramsay.
- Teams such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have favoured a policy of blooding young talent at all costs, with senior players only too happy to step aside and share the experience. Juxtapose this with Australia’s reliance on Dad’s Army and the Comeback Kids.
- Did I mention that spin will be the deciding factor in the tournament?
Thus far, Australia looks hopelessly out of sorts on the spin-friendly wickets which are to haunt them for the duration of the tournament. Aside from a couple of minor triumphs, such as a knock-in for The Punter Ponting and a dab around the park for The Clock, the middle order looks about as stable as Shane Warne’s love life right now. This is far from a sudden phenomenon and raises serious reservations as to the tour’s planning by a peanut-brained selection panel (to put it kindly). It also highlights the endemic flaws in Australian batting techniques, which rely on true bounce and minimal deviation on green home pitches. Like an inflated corporation full of egos, backhand dealings and perennial testicle slashing, coupled with an endemic squad instability built over several years; the dream will surely unravel before millions of cricket fans in the coming weeks.
Here’s some free World Cup news for the betting crowd. Stay away from the international teams, keep it local and choose your matchups carefully, this is a handsome betting tournament. Below, I have dissected the current betting market, take it with two taps on the salt shaker followed by a warm beer.
India, (3.75): Have The Formula To Win.
Deserving favourites, but under the odds for my liking. Whilst the Team India of 2011 is prepared mentally this time around, their success will again rely on the contributions from Sehwag and Tendulkar. These players not only instil the younger players with confidence to play a natural game, but will also consolidate local support for the team, obviously a crucial factor in such a highly condensed, often critical nation. If either or both of these batsmen have a lean tournament, the pressure on the younger squad members may be too much. On the bowling front, they have what I would consider to be the most potent of spin bowling line-ups, a factor that will obviously come into play given the early indicators in Bangalore. Harbhajan is the key, watch out for Ashwin.
Sri Lanka, (5.25): Best Bet, But Maybe I’m Sentimental.
I have proclaimed for some time that Sri Lanka will be the team to beat. There are a few factors that will aid Sri Lanka in raising the trophy in a month’s time; they have one of the most devastating top order batting line ups in the tournament, Dilshan, Sangakkara and Jayawardene, followed by a talented middle order with the likes of all-rounder Angelo Matthews. Their bowlers are highly experienced and diverse, successful ingredients in the hands of a thinking captain. Key performers will be Muralitharan, Malinga with his variation and the x-factor of Mendis. If Sri Lanka are to win, they will need to get runs on the board and utilise their experience to contain pressure in the field.
Australia, (6.0): Not This Time. Won’t Be Disgraced, Won’t Hold The Ace.
Once again, preparation and a lack of foresight will hinder Australia’s chances. Other World Cup news blogs suggest they are under prepared for the conditions in the sub-continent. The selectors, the moronic breed that they are, must have thought they play on fibreglass pitches in old Bombay, hence the barrage of pace options. I do give them some credit, though; this could be the ugliest bunch of cricketers I have seen in canary yellow for a while. If only they had chosen Peter Siddle in the squad, there would be enough angry heads to start a prison riot. You could imagine Siddle, Krezja and Hastings together on those boozy nights after a first-round exit, kicking down hotel doors and shaking down SP bookies. All fantasies aside, the reality is Australia cannot win this tournament with their ‘Hail Mary’ squad of bogans and bachelors.
South Africa, (6.0): The Tale Of Two. Sheer Class, Utter Garbola.
They have a very solid top six and on most pitches you would expect them to score 250-300 runs, a defendable total if the bowlers can fire. Expect to see big things from A.B. DeVilliers, Amla and Kallis, all proven performers on slow-pitches. They have an underrated bowling unit led by Dale Steyn, but overall it lacks depth and experience, even if you consider the impressive form of left-arm seamer Tsotsobe. Whilst their spin options are passable and may well deliver on some occasions, they will have difficulty taking wickets against the spin-playing sub-continental nations and could prove costly. Expect World Cup news surrounding a choke, early departure or fixing scandal.
England, (8.0): When I Say No, England Say Yes. I Say No.
I just don’t see England making much of the tournament. Their preparation has been hampered by injuries and an obvious lack of drive following the Ashes triumph. I expect them to be thereabouts, but would be surprised if they made it to the semi-final stages. The true backbreaker is a distinct lack of match experience in sub-continental conditions, along with the slide in form of their catalyst Kevin Pieterson. If the skunk gets his melon in to the tournament, they may cause a stink.
Pakistan, (9.0): Never Let Rules Get In The Way Of A Good Fix.
World Cup news wouldn’t be complete without a good Pakistani curve ball. No doubting they have the power to deliver a knockout punch, but stamina and sustainability has always been the problem. On their day they are world beaters, on others they are simply atrocious. If anything, I would pick them for sheer entertainment value, whether winning or losing they do it in such an unforgettable manner.
Bangladesh, (41.0): Something Tells Me Bangladesh May Surprise A Few.
My dark horse and real surprise packet for the tournament. I really think if they play to their potential plus a little extra, they can make it through the group stages with ease. Not strong enough to go all the way but will make an impression and could upset some agendas throughout the tournament. Some real bright talents, starting at the top with Tamim Iqbal, followed by their all-rounder-come-captain Shakib Al-Hasan. I would be looking to back them against the mediocre teams (New Zealand, West Indies) on home soil, it will be emotional.
Thanks to our good friends at SportsBet who have been kind enough to offer an exclusive Free Bet offer to all new accounts signing up through Googlie.com.au.
When opening a new betting account SportsBet will match 100% of your first ever resulted bet with a Free Bet to the value of $100. When you place your next 10 bets they will also match 100% of their average value up to $100 free. Also, unlike other Free Bet offers, you still get the freebie even if your first bet is a winner! Now, I’m not one to endorse bookies, but I have dealt with these guys in the past and they are timely payers, provide competitive odds and are generally a good bunch to deal with.
To ensure you are entitled to the offer be sure to click through one of the links displaying on Googlie.com.au and begin the registration. If you would also like to be so kind, add my account ID in the ‘Refer-a-Friend’ section and I can enjoy some of the Free Bet action too! Simply, copy paste ‘ 399060 ‘ in the section next to ‘Refer-a-Friend’, muchos grazios los Gauchos!!
Throughout the tournament I will be providing daily (somewhat brief) match reports, tips, rumors and innuendo, references to my ladies cooking and general debauchery for your mundane nine-to-fives. Keep an eye out, til then, peace in cricket and godspeed.
Note: Market Odds provided by SportsBet at 12pm EST, February 17, 2011.
Stay tuned for the latest World Cup news at Googlie Cricket blog.