Thursday, July 25, 2013

Root and Cook have Similar Mentality- Gooch

Ominously for the rest of the cricketing world, Graham Gooch believes that in Joe Root England have unearthed a similar talent to Alistair Cook and that the two openers both have similarly steely mentalities.

Root and Cook have opened together during the first two tests of the Ashes series and the young Yorkshireman has really grown into the role, notching up a hugely impressive 178 in the second Test at Lord’s.

Despite many commentators expecting Root to struggle under the weight of expectation, he has proved the selectors right for showing faith in him and, having also nurtured Alistair Cook through his development at Essex, this comes as no surprise to Gooch.

“They are both mature for young men, and Alastair Cook had a similar mentality when he was Joe’s age,” Gooch said. “He was mature in the mind – he knew exactly how he could score runs– and I think anyone who saw Joe saw that too.”

Root made his international debut against India in December last year and since then he has gone on to make two centuries and two half centuries in eight tests. At just 22, Root has established himself as a fixture in the England side and he cuts a confident figure at the crease. He is currently favourite in the Ashes betting to top England’s run-scoring charts throughout the series.

For Gooch, Root’s success is to down to his attitude and his hard work in the nets. “Joe, from the first time we saw him in India, was an impressive young character,” the England batting coach said. “I’m not surprised at all that he’s moving forward with his skill levels, the way he works at his game and all the disciplines that are in place.”

England fans who bet on the Ashes  will certainly hope that Gooch is correct and that Root can continue to develop in the way that Alistair Cook has over the last few years. If Root turns out to be half the player that Cook has then England can expect many more years of international success.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

England buoyed by a better Broad

Stuart Broad's timely return to top form in England's win over New Zealand in the first Test of the summer is great news for Andy Flower's side because they need the pace bowler at his best if they are to hold on to the Ashes.

Recently, Broad has been a pale shadow of the player that was one of the stars of the last Ashes success on home soil back in 2009 but he announced himself back to somewhere near his optimum level at Lord's and, if he can build on this most welcome of starts to a busy few months, then most
Ashes Tips writers will believe retaining the Ashes is very much within England’s grasp.

Broad finished the first Test with best-ever figures of 7-44 as the tourists were skittled for a measly 68 in their second innings and it was this devastating spell that turned an otherwise tight clash England's favour. It was the type of assured pace bowling performance that Broad used to turn in regularly and he really proved to be his country's matchwinner in a game that was much closer than many had predicted.

Broad, who is still only 26 and therefore has plenty of time yet to develop further, has been a big-game performer for England for some time now despite accusations of inconsistency. He has suffered alarming dips in form and appears very much a confidence player, who truly operates at a world-class level when his head is right and he is injury-free but, when it matters most, he can usually be relied upon.

Alongside Jimmy Anderson, Broad remains one of England's most potent weapons and, when at the top of his game, can scare the very best sides in the world.

His performance against an admittedly weak Kiwis side should not be one anyone gets too carried away with but it certainly bodes well for the summer, with the
 First Test against Australia only six weeks away. Because England stand little chance of Ashes glory unless a fully-firing Broad is around.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sri Lanka Champions Trophy effort hit by injury

Sri Lanka’s hopes of winning a maiden ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales this summer have taken a hit after medium pacer Chanaka Welegedara suffered a foot injury during a warm-up match on Saturday.

Welegedara, 32, lasted just 2.4 overs for Rest of Sri Lanka against Sri Lanka A in Pallekele before hobbling off complaining of pain in his right foot and ankle.

"Welegedara came off immediately and is currently unable to put any weight on his right foot," said a Sri Lanka Cricket statement.

It is yet unknown if he will recover in time to play for his national side in the one-day tournament this June but if he is absent from the squad many cricket betting fans have voiced their concern over Sri Lanka’s title chances.

For Welegedara is one of Sri Lanka’s main attacking threats and his absence is likely to inspire the team’s three group opponents England, Australia and New Zealand to attack at the crease.

There was real hope in the international cricket world Welegedara would make an impact at the ICC Champions Trophy, for the paceman deserves more than the 10 previous ODI appearances for his country.

Figures of 5-66 against India three years ago proved just how lethal Welegedara is on his day and the Test team have suffered from his absence through injuries over the past 12 months.

With Welegedara a doubt, Sri Lanka must rely on specialist fast bowlers Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Kulasekara to do the job this summer – an unlikely trio that will find it hard against the world’s best ODI batsmen.

Most ICC Champions Trophy betting tips says you should back Sri Lanka to make the semis if he plays, but if he is absent they won’t win a bean against three impressive batting units.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bresnan reveals op risk

Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan has revealed his career could have been over when he went under the knife earlier this year but insists he is now 100% fit and ready for action.
Bresnan has been dogged by an elbow complaint for the past two and a half years, originally having surgery on the issue in December 2011.
He continued to experience discomfort and decided to undergo a second operation over the winter, ruling him out of the tour of New Zealand.
Though it was a relatively straightforward procedure, Bresnan admits it was one was that could have forced him to retire.
When asked whether he feared for his career ahead of the operation, Bresnan said: "I think you do. A couple of hours before the op, it's like 'Well, this could go one of two ways.
“I might never play for England again, or play cricket again, or I might be back better than ever. You've got to weigh up that risk and then just sort of decide 'Yep, eff it' and get on with it really.”
Thankfully for the 28-year-old everything went to plan and he was able to take part in pre-season training with Yorkshire before returning to competitive action in April.
He earned a recall to the England squad for the return Test series with New Zealand, with the first Test at Lord’s due to start next Thursday. The Cricket betting odds again place the hosts as heavy favourites, just as they were in the reverse series earlier this year, which resulted in a0-0 draw.
Speaking after meeting up with his international team mates ahead of the first England v New Zealand Test, Bresnan added: "I probably lost three or four yards. But I feel as though I've got that back. I can sit here and say whatever...but it's just as easy to show you.
"I'd love to play. I'm down here. I'm not here to carry the drinks. I'm here to play in the game, throw my hat in the ring for selection. The next two practice days will probably tell the management a lot about where I'm at and what I can do.”

Pietersen recovery hands England major Ashes boost

England have been handed an early Ashes boost after it emerged key batsman Kevin Pietersen should be back in action sooner than expected after recovering well from his knee injury.

Pietersen is being lined up to play for his county Surrey on June 12 and he now appears on course, barring any further setbacks,  to be available for England in The Ashes, that begin on July 10 at Trent Bridge.

The news is a great pre-Ashes boost for England and should give them renewed confidence of retaining the famous urn on home soil because, make no mistake, Pietersen remains the stand-out, world-class performer capable of putting the Aussies to the sword on  his day.
The South Africa-born star can be unpredictable at times but when he fancies it, he is the man that can lead his side to glory. If Pietersen was absent, it would have given the tourists hope of wrestling the Ashes away from England and his influence on the side should not be underestimated.
The 32-year-old will be eased back into action over the next month and he should feature in three first-class games before the big summer battle begins, giving him ample time to fine-tune his game and be 100 per cent fit for the Nottingham opener.
England are usually a much more daunting prospect with Pietersen in their side and his big-hitting style could prove decisive in the Ashes, adding to the threat already posed by Alastair Cook at the top of the order.
His inclusion in the side should severely enhance England's odds in the Ashes betting  and the fact Andy Flower can prepare for the matches safe in the knowledge Pietersen is on board is a major boost for the home side.
England are rightly cast as favourites for the Ashes and those odds should only shorten with Pietersen playing.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

England confident over injured trio

National selector Geoff Miller has revealed the signs are positive regarding three players hoping to be fit in time for England’s busy summer. Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan and Kevin Pietersen all had their winter’s cut short due to injury, but Miller has admitted all three could be ready for the home series against New Zealand which kicks off England’s summer.

Spinner Swann and seamer Bresnan are both recovering from elbow injuries, while Pietersen was forced to return home from the tour of New Zealand with a worrying knee problem. Swann is expected to be able to return to training by the end of the next month, and Pietersen and Bresnan will also be both aiming to prove themselves in time for the first Test against the Kiwis next month, series which should be relatively straightforward, according to betting news reporters.

With the series against New Zealand and the Champions Trophy coming up before the first of back-to-back Ashes series, England will know they may have to manage all three, especially Pietersen and Swann, extremely carefully over the next few months.

For the time being, however, all three are on course to be able to return action during the opening part of the English summer, but Miller did make it clear he was comfortable in the ability of the squad handle the gruelling schedule over the next few months.

"I talked to Graeme Swann the other night and he's fine, and Bressie will be starting with Yorkshire very soon. It was a nasty injury for Kevin but it's been rectified and the medical staff will continue with that. He'll be fine,” admitted Miller to cricket betting news reporters.

"We will be ready when New Zealand come around, we have strength in depth to cope, then we've got the Champions Trophy, and the public can be sure we'll be ready for Australia when they arrive."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Modest Wright praises bowling unit

Match-winner Chris Wright hailed a team effort after Warwickshire blew Durham away on the final day at Edgbaston to secure their first win of their title defence.

The County Championship Division One champions dismissed the visitors for just 94 in their second innings to record an emphatic 318-run victory.

Durham simply had no answer to England-hopeful Wright, who gave the selectors a nudge with an impressive haul of 6-31 from 16 overs.

Wright was keen to deflect praise onto his fellow bowlers, who gave Warwickshire a chance of victory in the first innings, with Keith Barker and Chris Woakes particularly impressive in restricting Durham to 284.

"We bowled exceptionally as a unit. A lot of the guys bowled seriously good spells – I think at one stage I was the expensive one, going at one and a half runs per over," Wright said.

"The great thing about our attack is that we share the wickets around. In the first innings it was Barks and Woakesy and in the second I picked up a few. That's how we work."

The 27-year-old felt Warwickshire benefited from improved conditions in the second half of the match. Wright, who took 62 championship wickets in 2012, admitted he is striving for even greater consistency this season – meaning punters should consider using their free online bets to back the Bears for further glory in 2013.

"I have been trying to start spells well and it came out nicely in the second innings. There wasn't a gale-force wind today, unlike earlier in the match, which made it a struggle to swing the ball. The weather was kinder and that helped us but we took advantage really well," he added.

Wright will look to pick up where he left off when Warwickshire travel to Somerset for a four-day match on Thursday. Another match-winning display could push him into contention for England's two-Test series against New Zealand.

Root pleased with comeback despite lack of runs

England batsman Joe Root was pleased to get back out in the middle with Yorkshire, even though he failed to make a significant contribution in the first innings of the three-day Roses friendly against Lancashire.

The 22-year-old has come a long way since he last pulled on his Yorkshire whites at the end of last season. He burst onto the international scene in India before Christmas and earned rave reviews throughout the winter.

Root is set to make his first Test appearance on home soil in next month's two-match series against New Zealand, with one eye undoubtedly on this summer's Ashes. However, Root must first score runs in the County Championship to ensure he keeps his England place.

The Yorkshire opener only managed 11 runs in a total of 381-8 against Lancashire. He accepted the early-season conditions mean he will not score runs every time he goes out to bat.

"It was great to be back out there and good to be back at Headingley, although it was slightly disappointing today. But on a team front it was an excellent day," said Root, who is making his first appearance since last month's final Test in New Zealand.

"I felt fine out there, but it's all part of playing in England in April. It seams about a bit and as an opener sometimes you get a good ball."

One player who could join Root in the England line-up for the first Test of the summer is Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow. He did his chances of continuing to deputise for the injured Kevin Pietersen no harm with a fine 131 and punters may want to use their free bet online to back Baristow to do the business for England next month.

Like Bairstow, Root will hope to make the most of his time with Yorkshire as he looks to nail down a place in the Test side ahead of the visit of Australia. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Anderson not writing off Australia

Pace bowler James Anderson has made it clear England won’t be underestimating Australia in this summer’s Ashes series despite being heavy favourites to retain the urn again. The fast bowler has been on both winning and losing England teams in the Ashes, but it’s been more good than bad for Anderson in recent series against Australia.

Australia will go into the Ashes on the back of a disappointing 4-0 series humbling in India, which was as embarrassing off the field as it was on it. Despite a number of exciting youngsters coming through the ranks, Australia are still a shadow of the team that dominated Test cricket for so many years, not least against England.

 England will be well aware that form usually goes out the window when it comes to the Ashes, and Alastair Cook’s men won’t be taking the Aussies lightly in the first of back-to-back series against Australia.

"Form kind of goes out of the window a little bit with an Ashes series. Australia are always competitive regardless of what form they've been in leading up to an Ashes series, they always fight hard and make it difficult for us,” insisted Anderson.

"Every team we play against we respect them and we'll prepare as well as we always do for any Test series. We'll prepare with a lot of detail and hopefully we'll be fighting fit and produce a good Ashes series."

Before taking on Michael Clarke’s Australia team, England will first welcome New Zealand for the return Test series, coming shortly after returning from a tough three-Test series against Kiwis during the winter.

While England will be looking to rediscover their form against the Black Caps in preparation for the Ashes, there will also be a certain amount of caution that nobody picks up any injuries ahead of such an important few months.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cook – Aussies still a Real Threat

Despite suffering a miserable 4-0 Test drubbing in India last month, Alastair Cook has made it clear Australia still can’t be written off ahead of this summer’s Ashes series.

It wasn’t just on the field in India that Australia were left embarrassed, as head coach, Mickey Arthur’s decision to suspend four players for failing to submit a feedback report left many conceding this was a squad in disarray ahead of the Ashes.

The England captain knows his side will go into the first of back-to-back Ashes series as favourites in many peoples’ eyes, but Cook has refused to draw too much from Australia’s recent troubles.

Despite Australia’s clear problems going into this summer, England skipper, Cook, knows that form is not as important going into an Ashes series as it may be with other series.

"I wouldn't read too much into what happened in India with Australia. The conditions were very different to what we are going to experience in England,” said Cook.

"They are going to be a very tough side to beat”, Cook said to cricket betting news pundits. “The Ashes is a unique event so hopefully it will bring the best out of both sides. The favourites stuff is all off the field. You can read all you want about that sort of stuff but it is irrelevant."      

While Cook couldn’t really say anything else, there is no denying that this has to be the weakest Australia squad an England side will have faced in a good few years.

England might not be in the best of form themselves, a point attested to in the betting news, but it would still be hard to picture anything other than Cook’s men retaining the Ashes by the time the fifth and final Test finishes in August.