Cricket World Cup 2019 Betting Match 1: Take on England

Ed Hawkins

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 8:48 AM UTC

Wednesday, May. 29, 2019 8:48 AM UTC

Ed Hawkins @cricketbetting says the tournament favourites are there to be shot at and they have to be swerved in the opener

<div><h2>England v South Africa</h2><p><a href=""><strong>Thursday 30 May 10.30</strong></a></p><p>England are the No 1-ranked team in the world. They are hot favourites for their first World Cup title. They have home advantage. They have the best batting unit the world has ever seen (that’s not hyperbole, by the way, it’s statistical fact). But they’re absolutely no fun at the odds as they begin their quest against a solid South African team in south London.</p><p>Bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill go no better than 4/9 about the hosts. It is mighty short in a tournament of this prestige. Not least because the odds suggest England are the finished article, which they’re not.</p><p>There are serious question marks about their bowling. For all the legitimate shouting about their batting, their bowling has been proven to be suspect. Take a guess at the name of the team which has the worst economy rate in the world in the last two years? Yep, <a href="">England</a></p><p>Over the course of the tournament, England may well solve this. It is why they have been so desperate to find room for Indian Premier League star <a href="">Jofra Archer </a></p><p>But until we see evidence that they can tighten things up in the field, we will bet against them.</p><p>But we have to be smart in doing so. Wait until after the toss and bet South Africa only if they bat second. This is where England are most vulnerable in the field. With their inability to keep things tight, their batting needs only to underperform slightly to put their bowlers under pressure.</p><p>South Africa have a superb bowling attack with Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir a fantastic combination. Andile Phehlukwayo is also an unheralded, canny all-rounder who can put the skids under any batting team with clever variations. Dale Steyn, the wily veteran, has been ruled out with injury but we think that helps South Africa.</p><p>Steyn would have batted at No 8 and that is way too high for a man of his ability in the modern game. Instead, South Africa could pick a Chris Morris or a Dwaine Pretorius. This lengthens South Africa’s batting and gives them a chance to score at a faster rate. Something they are likely to have to do on a flat wicket.</p><h2>Best tips for the match</h2><p><a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" target="_top" title="Cricket Betting Odds"><em><strong>South Africa batting second 2/1 (3.0) Betfred</strong></em></a></p></div>
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