Watson can lead Australia to World Cup glory in Mumbai

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It was an innings that led Nasser Hussain to label Shane Watson “Australia’s best player”, and the opener is the key if Australia wish to win the World Cup.

The Australians have been cut into 1/2 to win the one-day international series with England following their victory in the opening one-dayer, and Watson was instrumental in helping Australia achieve the win.

Australia may have only won by four runs against an England side that should have put a higher total on the board, but that victory makes it consecutive wins for Australia in all formats against England and there is a renewed optimism around the squad.

Should Australia go on to win this series comfortably, they are 20/1 to win 7-0, 7/1 to win 6-1 and 3/1 to win 5-2, the World Cup would be there to lose as it starts just a fortnight after the final ODI between England and Australia is played.

Australia are as big as 5/1 in the Cricket World Cup betting and Michael Clarke’s side offer all the early value after the victory over England.

Patriotic punters can back England at 6/4 to come from behind and win this seven-match series, and at 4/1 to win the World Cup, England too offer plenty of value.

But question marks remain over captain Paul Collingwood after he was dropped for the first ODI, and England need to sort that situation quickly as they can’t afford any uncertainty entering the World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The second ODI will give us more of an insight into the form of these two teams heading into the World Cup, and Australia are 8/11 to win the second ODI with England available at 1/1.

Should England nullify the threat that Watson brings – he is 3/1 to be the top runscorer – then they have a strong chance of winning.

A £25 stake on England winning the World Cup would return £150. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.