West Indies v India World T20: Under-rated Windies are a tremendous value bet

Few sides can contain Chris Gayle at the Wankhede Stadium
Few sides can contain Chris Gayle at the Wankhede Stadium

Paul Krishnamurty previews the second semi-final, arguing that West Indies have been under-rated from the start and represent excellent trading value as they take on India for the right to take on England in the final...

"West Indies can beat anyone in this format, and chase any total if their deep batting line-up fires. India are not bombproof by any means."

Back to lay West Indies @ 3.0

West Indies v India
Wednesday, 14:30 GMT
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2


West Indies

Prior to their final, effectively meaningless, group match, West Indies' bid to regain the title they won in 2012 could barely have gone any smoother. Victories over the three top-level sides, two with ease, confirmed their reputation as T20 specialists.

However an embarrassing defeat to Afghanistan revived memories of the potential fragility we've seen so often in other forms of the game. Without taking anything away from the plucky Afghans, we must assume the Windies were guilty of taking their foot off the gas.

The fundamentals haven't changed - Windies are packed with T20 specialists like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Samuel Badree. All-rounders such as Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels and Andre Russell mean they bat down to at least eight and include as many different bowling options.

Sunday's line-up excluded Gayle, and the big man's replacement Evin Lewis was out for a duck. Gayle will be back for the semis, returning to a ground where he made history earlier in the tournament.


India

The hosts had some shaky moments in what amounted to an eliminator against Australia on Sunday, but the class of Virat Kohli carried them through with a little to spare. Consequently, India are red-hot tournament favourites entering the semis, at odds of 2.35/4.

However if you want to pick holes in the favourites, it should be noted that Kohli is the only batsman to fire so far. They were thrashed by New Zealand and Bangladesh took them to the wire.

Instead, their run has owed more to a very strong batch of economical bowlers, five of whom average under seven in this World Cup. Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja are particularly effective in T20.

The other batsmen are of course world-class and generally thrive in this format, so perhaps they will come late to the party. Yuvraj Singh, however, will not after injuring his ankle. Manish Pandey is the replacement.


First Innings Runs

The Wankhede Stadium's reputation as a high-scoring ground has again been confirmed at this World Cup. The three first innings scores so far were 182, 229 and 207 - the first two of which were chased down, and Afghanistan made a spirited attempt at chasing the latter.

Both of these sides are packed with batting depth and big-hitting power to clear these boundaries. Par must be at least 175. Because I expect the run line to be high to start, my plan may be to wait until halfway through the innings before backing 'Overs'.


Match Odds

I've felt from the outset that West Indies were underrated, and India too short in the betting for a wide-open tournament. Thanks to their defeat to Afghanistan, this semi offers a chance to vindicate that theory.

West Indies can beat anyone in this format, and chase any total if their deep batting line-up fires. India are not bombproof by any means. At these odds, Windies are cracking value as a back-to-lay. My advice is to stake five units at 3.02/1, then place an order to lay ten units at 1.51/2 in-running. That equates to an even money bet.


Top West Indies Batsman

Naturally Gayle tops the Windies list at around 3.55/2, but there are always value alternatives. Massive scores are available at the death on this ground, so lets try one of the finishers, Andre Russell at around 13.012/1.


Top India Batsman

Despite a classy line-up, here the favourite may make the most appeal. Virat Kohli's innings against Australia was one of his career highlights, and this elite batsman is India's most in-form man. He looks bound to go close at odds around 3.613/5.


Recommended Bet

Back to Lay


Back West Indies 5u @ 3.02/1
Place in-play order to lay 10u @ 1.51/2


Follow me on Twitter @paulmotty

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