Cricket World Cup: Ashwin’s mastery to see India past West Indies

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Following poor showings in the warm-up games few were predicting India to begin the World Cup with three straight wins, but the champions have stepped up to the plate in style Down Under.

Playing their final Pool B match on Australian soil before crossing the Tasman Sea for New Zealand to see out the group stages, a win over West Indies in Perth would leave India sitting pretty – two points clear of South Africa at the summit.

Victory over the unpredictable beast that is West Indies should be forthcoming as the 2/5 odds in India’s favour suggest.

Despite victories over Zimbabwe and an equally erratic Pakistan outfit, the 2/1-shots have already been embarrassed by Ireland and humbled to the tune of 257 runs when faced with the other nation of genuine quality in Pool B; South Africa.

Although Jerome Taylor has shone with the ball, taking the lion’s share of West Indian wickets, their attack in general has looked too limp, allowing Ireland to cruise past 304 and South Africa rack up a Test match score of 408/5 against it.

Both India and West Indies have batting power to take a match by the scuff, but it’s the boys in blue’s ecomony – the best at the tournament so far – which is likely to be the difference at the WACA.

A bouncy strip in Perth may aid the West Indies quicks, but as India’s chief wicket taker in the competition proved against United Arab Emirates, there is plenty in it for the spinners to exploit too.

Dovetailing with Ravindra Jadeja in one of the tournament’s only two-pronged spin attacks, Ravichandran Ashwin has been India’s star with the whitey, taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 3.82 per over.

Ashwin took four of those in Perth last time and looks a fine 3/1 bet to send the most West Indians back to the hutch again here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.