Cricket World Cup: England may as well write off opening clash
New Zealand’s match against Sri Lanka pops the lid on the 2015 Cricket World Cup, but following swiftly on from the curtain raiser is England’s date with Australia at a sold-out MCG.
On to that ominous opening fixture for England shortly, but firstly co-hosts New Zealand look like the bet of choice at 4/9 to overcome Sri Lanka in their Pool A beginner in Christchurch.
The Black Caps are many people’s dark horses for the tournament and judging by their recent 4-2 ODI series win over the Sri Lankans, which included two victories by more than 100 runs and only concluded on January 29th, Brendon McCullum’s charges get the nod.
Around five hours later England start off their World Cup campaign in the most testing of circumstances and even the most optimistic of forecasters will struggle to make a strong case to back them at 9/4.
Playing Australia in front of a baying crowd of 90,000 in Melbourne is perhaps enough on its own to plump for the hosts’ 4/11 odds to kick proceedings off with a win, even before getting down to the cricket.
In truth, the stats are so one sided it’s probably better for Eoin Morgan’s side to enjoy the experience, but ultimately be prepared to take the hit and move on with so many chances at redemption to come in the tournament.
Although England’s warm-up tri-series provided a much-needed team-moulding exercise for this new ODI incarnation, three times Australia won out to make it 13 wins from the last 15 one-day clashes with the old enemy Down Under.
The final itself showed the gulf in game management and conviction between the sides, as Ashes scourge Mitchell Johnson provided the short-ball fireworks once more, unsettling Moeen Ali among others on his way to figures of 3-27.
Johnson is a 12/1 shot to be crowned man of the match at the MCG.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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