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England v West Indies 3rd ODI Betting: Strauss won't tolerate complacency

ODI preview RSS / / 25 May 2009 /

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The West Indies have let themselves down on this tour and Ed Hawkins can't wait to see the back of them.

They can't be trusted with your money, every day brings fresh revelations and embarrassments and no-one appears to be taking responsibility. West Indies' similarities with members of parliament do not end there, though. We are sick of them and just wish they would go away.

Alas, those craving fairness, or something resembling a closer betting heat, will have to put up with them for a while yet. On Tuesday, West Indies meet England at Edgbaston in the final match of a one-day series before beginning their preparations for the World Twenty20, which starts next month.

They are virtually unbackable for both. At [2.56] to beat England (who are [1.62] for a 2-0 series stroll) and [16.50] for the World Twenty20 they have reached punting pariah status.

You see, normally every side who are rated as inferior by the market can at least be relied upon to be giving their all, playing with a semblance of discipline and common sense to make the inflated odds worth a gamble. Not this West Indies team.

At Bristol on Sunday everything had gone in their favour to warrant backing them. The sun was out (admittedly if you are relying on the weather there are big problems), the toss went in their favour and the pitch was perfect to pressurise their opponents. But did they show a semblance of aptitude to make a game of it? Did they heck.

If they are to level the series in the last game that will have to change but given they have not managed to make the transformation in a whole month since they have been on English soil it could be argued that West Indies are just not big enough.

England have been busy and professional
but the smiles on their faces are not one of joy at their success. They appear to be laughing at how easy it all is, how they only need to do the basics and how, when they make a mistake, it is not capitalised upon.

This could be construed as complacency. Yet under the stewardship of Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower, this young outfit will not be allowed to rest on their laurels.

England have a tremendous record at Edgbaston, a bastion in both one-day and Test cricket. It is their second most successful home ground in terms of win-loss ratios at 1.60, only Old Trafford (1.80) has a better mark. The hosts are particularly unwelcoming if they bat first. They won 8 of 13 when batting first, five of them in successive fashion. They score heavily, too with their last five total reading: 162/281/299/262.

The top England runscorer market is likely to be one of the more popular markets for the contest. To help make a decision, here are the List A averages of England's top six: Strauss 34.2, Bopara 10, Prior 31, Shah 22.4, Collingwood 44.5.

The gulf between the England openers is a stark one and although Strauss has not looked at his best this summer, one could justify siding with him in a runs bets against Bopara at [1.95].
West Indies actually won on their last visit in 2007. Shiv Chanderpaul, probably the only West Indian who the term 'reliable' could be used without bursting into fits of laughter, top-scored with an unbeaten century. He is likely to go off at around the [4.00] mark for repeat honours.

Following that victory, West Indies went on to win the series - they were 1-0 down after game one at Lord's. If you want to bet West Indies on the back of that, best of luck. But I hope you're claiming it on expenses.


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