Pietersen 25/1 to be top runscorer after being named as opener

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It’s been a turbulent eight months for Kevin Pietersen but after being dropped from the England one-day international squad last August, the South African-born batsman now finds himself at the top of the order.

As a result Pietersen is now 25/1 to be the top runscorer in the World Cup and 7/2 to be England’s top runscorer, but after a poor result in their opening warm-up match with Canada, England are on the drift in the World Cup betting.

Having opened at 4/1 to win the World Cup, England are now as big as 8/1 to win the World Cup after stuttering to a 16-run victory over Canada yesterday, and England’s lack of established opener is a worry with their opening World Cup match just five days away.

Pietersen was England’s top runscorer in the 2007 World Cup but was batting at four, and England’s experiment may backfire by using the attack minded Pietersen to open.

With the pressure on Pietersen, punters should look elsewhere for England’s top scorer and Jonathan Trott, at the same 7/2 price as Pietersen to be England’s top runscorer offers all the value.

However after a stunning 79 from 80 balls against Canada yesterday, Matt Prior, who is back batting at his preferred six, could be a huge price at 7/1.

England face Pakistan in their second of two warm-up games on Friday before their opening match with Holland on Tuesday, and with England being 1/25 to beat Holland, the easier opening match may allow the new England order another chance to gel.

But experimenting with your batsman with the World Cup due to start in two days is not the greatest preparation, and while patriotic punters will like the 8/1 for England to win the World Cup, punters are better off backing India at 3/1.

A £25 stake on Prior being England’s top runscorer would return £200. New customers can sign up here for a free World Cup bet worth £25.

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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.