1. Who will win the Cricket World Cup?
India have an excellent chance at 5/2. They were beaten in the final of the Champions Trophy two years ago in England when they picked the worst time to have an off day. They have the No.1 batsman Virat Kohli, and the No.1 bowler Jasprit Bumrah, in the ODI rankings. If their middle order can fire for them, they could be a very tough nut to crack. Hardik Pandya is the X Factor for them.
2. Which of the big guns are you happy to lay?
Australia are over-hyped @7/2. There is huge pressure on them to find runs in the team, apart from David Warner. They beat a poor Pakistan team in UAE in the build up to the World Cup. I’d have worries that their bowling isn’t strong enough. Mitchell Starc is their main strike bowler and he’s huge fitness question marks hanging over him.
3. Top tournament run-scorer?
David Warner of Australia @ 10/1. It’s taken a huge amount of character to come back from his 12-month ban for his part in ‘sandpaper-gate’. He had an incredible IPL and finished as top run-scorer with less games played than the players behind him.
He has the ability to score a lot of runs, very quickly.
4. Where is the value in the top Wicket Taker market?
Kagiso Rabada of South Africa @ 14/1. His is probably the best “death” bowler in cricket. His 90 mph bowling will strike fear into batsman. He took 25 wickets in the IPL and would have finished as Top Tournament bowler, only he pulled out of the last two games because of injury in an effort to stay fit for the World Cup. He will clean up the tail-enders at the end of an innings.
5. Who do you fancy to be England’s top World Cup Runscorer and Wicket Taker?
Jonny Bairstow @ 11/4 and Chris Woakes @10/3. Bairstow is probably the most explosive and reliable of all of the opening batsman in the tournament. He comes into the World Cup in top form after the IPL. Chris Woakes is Mr Reliable. He just takes wickets on a regular basis for England.
6. What is your best bet in any tournament market?
England to be group stage winners at 11/8. On form, they are probably the best team in the tournament and should really be winning the tournament. That’s why I think they’ll win the group stage, but when it gets to the semi-finals, that’s when the pressure will kick in for them.