ALI NEEDS TO STEP UP

A few people reckon that Moeen Ali should not open the batting for England as he is vulnerable to moving balls and is not a good back foot player either.

But, the Worcestershire left hander gave a strong answer to those people with his knock against Scotland earlier today in Christchurch. He made a beautiful hundred and gave the Poms a huge start along with Ian Bell.

The situation which Moeen had left England in, they could have got to 340 from there if not for some quick lower order wickets.
Nevertheless, England’s score reached 300 and that was enough for the minnow opposition.

As far as Moeen is concerned, there was nobody with express pace in that Scotland bowling line up to test him with the short stuff, but, there was surely a bit of movement early on and he showed good application during that phase.

Lofted cover drive is Moeen’s favourite shot and it’s hard for him to resist the temptation of playing that shot whenever the ball is pitched up.

But, when the ball swings, it’s important for even the stroke makers to leave a few at the start. The white new ball doesn’t move for long durations. It’s just about the first 15-20 minutes or so and then, it gets easy.

Moeen will have to make sure he remains watchful in the early overs in the coming games – though titanbet are currently running a market on him getting out within his first 6 bowls. He is such a gifted player that he can play long innings if he gets past the tough starting period.

Moeen did his job with the ball too against Scotland. He got a couple of wickets which would only add to his confidence.
With 2 points in 3 games, England is at the 6th position in Pool A right now.

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ENGLAND WIN IN WEST INDIES

The England Cricket Team has been defeated by West Indies in the first ODI match played at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium yesterday. The hosts won the match by 15 runs.

Batting first on a sluggish surface, West Indies lost wickets quickly and was not looking like positing a reasonable total half way through their innings, but, a 100-run partnership between Sammy and Bravo for the 5th wicket helped them get to 269 which proved to be sufficient.

England’s new opening pair started well and added 96 runs to push the opposition on the back foot, but, once the first wicket fell, the momentum shifted in the favour of West Indies.
Although Joe Root hung in there with Michael Lumb but, he couldn’t score the runs as quickly as needed and that made the required run rate go higher and higher.

However, with some big hitters waiting in the dressing room, the situation was still in the control of the visitors. They needed to score at just more than 8 per over in the last 7 overs, but, they eventually didn’t manage to do that.

The West Indies bowlers kept things simple in the death. They bowled full and straight and didn’t give the batsmen any room whatsoever.

Ravi Bopara who is renowned for his ability to clear boundaries couldn’t hit even 1 boundary during his 36-minute stay at the crease and that’s enough to suggest how tight the Caribbean bowling was.

Dwayne Bravo who had scored 86 runs for West Indies was declared man of the match. He played his part with the ball too as he dismissed England’s most lethal player Jos Buttler in the 43rd over.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday.

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EXPECT CHANGES

The England team management is expected to make some changes in the playing XI for the third Ashes test match which is going to be played at Perth.

England has performed awfully in the ongoing Ashes series so far. They have suffered two huge loses and are on the verge of losing the Ashes after a while.

The wicket at Perth is known to be the quickest in Australia. So, the Poms would certainly not be naming two spinners in the XI there. That means Monty Panesar will be sidelined and the man who is the strongest contender to replace him is Tim Bresnan.

Bresnan had a fantastic Ashes series back home in England and if he had not had fitness problems, he would have been the third fast bowler for England in the Brisbane test match.

However, he is completely recovered from his injury now and there are good chances of him making his way back into the playing XI.

Another change that England might make is to bring Jonny Bairstow in place of Ben Stokes who had made his debut at Adelaide Oval. But, the England team management should keep one thing in mind that the weather in Perth is going to be extremely hot. So, going with only 4 bowlers in that test match might not be a good decision.

If they persist with Stokes, he can give the main bowlers a bit of a breather and he will be quite handy with the bat too. And, that will boost the youngster’s confidence as well.

Stokes hadn’t done poorly in that Adelaide test match anyway. He had shown good fighting spirit while batting in the second innings and he had grabbed a few important wickets too. The young man needs one more go.

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CARBERRY BACKS WARNE

Some players of the England cricket team might have been unhappy with the recent statements of Shane Warne, but, Michael Carberry had some nice things to say about him yesterday.

Carberry played a fluent inning of 153 for England on the first day of the practice game against Australia A. With this hundred, he has now increased his chances of being included in the playing XI of England for the first Ashes test match.

Carberry had played well in the first practice game as well which was played at Perth. He had opened the batting with Joe Root there and had scored 78 runs in the first innings.

Seeing Carberry’s form in that first game, the England team management decided to persist with him at the top of the order even after the return of the skipper Alastair Cook and it proved to be a sensible decision.

Talking to the reporters in the press conference at the end of Yesterday’s play, Carberry said, “Shane Warne has been a great influence in my career. When I had made a move to Hampshire in 2006, I was struggling. I was lost, but, the support that Shane gave me helped me to revive my career. He always backed me and that’s what a youngster needs from his captain. I would say it’s because of Shane that I managed to represent my country in test match cricket.”

Carberry was included in the Ashes squad of England as a backup opener. He was expected to be on the sidelines at least in the first few matches of the series.

If Cook had not had that back problem, he would have probably partnered Joe Root at the top of the order in the game against Western Australia and then here as well. Carberry would have still been watching the games from the sidelines. But, the destiny gave him an opportunity at Perth and he grabbed it.

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NOT UNBALANCED

Eoin Morgan has said that he doesn’t think England went into the second ODI match against Australia with an unbalanced playing XI.

England went with only 4 frontline bowlers in that match. That decision of the team management didn’t prove to be a wise one as Australia smashed the English attack to every corner of the park and put up a huge total of 315 runs on the board. The hosts, in reply, couldn’t chase down that total and got trailed by 0-1 in the series.

In experts’ views, England should have gone with 5 bowlers – not doing so has seen their cricket betting odds slide.

But, according to Morgan, the playing XI was quite balanced and the team struggled because not enough individuals stepped up.
Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Morgan said, “We have got plenty of part time bowling options. So, going with only 4 specialist bowlers wasn’t a mistake according to me. It’s just that we didn’t manage to execute our plans perfectly.”

“315 was more than par on that sort of wicket which was assisting the bowlers a bit. However, we still could have got there if we had had a big partnership at the top. But, unfortunately, we lost quick wickets at the start.”
On the other hand, the Australian captain Michael Clarke who led his team from the front with a match winning inning of 105 was looking satisfied in the post match press conference.

Clarke said, “We haven’t had that much success in ODIs here in England in the last few years. So, this series is vital for us.”
“We have begun well today, but, there are 3 games still to be played. Hopefully, we will keep playing as well as we have done today.”

The third match of the series will be played at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Wednesday.

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SKIPPER UNSURE

The stand-in ODI skipper of England, Eoin Morgan, has not confirmed who is going to open the batting for the Poms in the opening match of the ODI series against Australia tomorrow.
Both the regular English openers, Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, have been rested for this series.

In the press conference earlier today, when Morgan was asked if it’s Kevin Pietersen who will be one of the openers for England in tomorrow’s game, Morgan said, “Kev has batted at the top of the order for us in the past and has played some good innings. But, his value in the middle order is immense too. So, we will have to think where we should slot him.”

“Opening is a difficult thing to do these days in One day cricket. There are new balls from both the ends and you need to be technically sound to survive” he told 3 Strikes Bet website.

“Alastair and Ian have done superbly well opening the batting for us in the last one and half years. It’s obviously very difficult to fill in their shoes. I just hope whoever gets the opportunity tomorrow plays well.”

“It’s really nice to be the captain of this young team. There are some highly promising guys in the squad and they are getting rewarded for the effort that they have put in over the years playing domestic cricket. It’s something which makes me happy.”

Quite a few uncapped players have been included in the England squad for the ODIs against Ireland and Australia. Three of them made their debut the other day against Ireland and the 4th one i.e. Chris Jordan who is a medium pacer from Sussex is expected to be handed his first ODI cap against the Kangaroos tomorrow.
Jordan’s List A record is quite impressive. He has taken 41 wickets in 27 List A matches at an average of 23.82.

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COOK LAUDS ROOT

The captain of the England cricket team, Alastair Cook, has lauded Joe Root for showing amazing calmness under pressure in England’s second innings in the second Ashes test match which was played at Lord’s.

Root played a tremendous knock of 180 runs in England’s second innings and helped his team set Australia a huge target of 583 runs.

The Australian team didn’t manage to get even close to that target and ended up getting bundled out for just 235 runs.
Talking to the reporters in the post match press conference, Cook said, “I was not surprised to see him bat like this. In his brief international career, he has already shown us a couple of times what he is capable of.”

“Joe has got amazing temperament. He is technically sound as well, but, it’s his temperament which makes him a special player.”
“He is a guy who plays according to the situation. If you need quick runs, he can up the ante as well.”

Not only did Root make big contribution with the bat, his performance with the ball was mighty impressive as well. He bowled 7 overs in the fourth innings of the match and dismissed two set Aussie batsmen.

When asked about Root’s bowling performance, Cook said, “He did surprise me a little bit with his bowling figures to be honest. I hadn’t expected him to bowl this impressively.”

When asked about the possibility of England whitewashing Australia in this series, Cook said, “These are early days in the series. It would not be sensible to start thinking about the whitewash at this point of time.”

“We have worked very hard in the last couple of weeks and we need to keep doing that. We can’t relax even a bit.”
The third test match of the series will start from 1st of August at Old Trafford, Manchester.

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England v New Zealand 2013

The England cricket team will be embarking on a tour of New Zealand next month – the first such visit to the country since 2008 – and will be playing a series of Test matches, Twenty20 internationals and one-day internationals during the tour, offering a feast for both cricket fans and those who enjoy betting on the game with sports betting sites. As of yet there is not much information available at these sites about the odds being offered for the tour, but it is only a matter of time before such information becomes available.

Successful cricket betting does tend to depend on having some grasp of the game, because it can seem rather arcane and difficult to get your head around for anyone who doesn’t; but for those who would like to bet successfully on cricket events like this tour of New Zealand there are ways of achieving this. Although there will always be tips sites to help those who don’t have much knowledge of the game, a better way for a betting fan to get over any cricket phobia might be to play one of the cricket games at online casinos.

Games like the slot The Umpire Strikes Back from places like jackpotcity.co.uk combine a traditional slot format with video and audio designed to evoke the experience of being on the cricket field. With this, plus the symbols based on cricket – like bats, balls, wickets and helmets – they can help a non-cricket betting fan start to understand the game a bit better, in an environment which is conducive.

After all, for those able to appreciate the game, betting on the England tour of New Zealand will offer lots of potential bets to place, including betting on the winners of each match, the highest run scorers for each team, the players who will take the most wickets, the highest scoring opening partnerships and the method by which the first player will be dismissed.

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COOK WANTS CHANGES

The captain of the England ODI team, Alastair Cook, has said that he will be making some changes in the playing XI for the third ODI match against New Zealand which is going to be played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Wednesday.

England has already lost the series, but, they would definitely not like to suffer the humiliation of whitewash in front of their home crowd. So, they will be going into the third ODI with all guns blazing.

England is playing without a couple of its frontline bowlers in this series i.e. Stuart Broad and Steven Finn. The players who have got playing chances in their absence haven’t been that impressive so far.

Jade Dernbach’s form has been absolutely awful. He is known for his smart change of pace in the death overs and he was included in the team especially to do that job. But, he has been taken apart in the slog overs in the first two ODIs and he might be the one to be left out of the playing XI for the third ODI.
Tim Bresnan’s performance was also under the scanner as he was making a comeback after the elbow surgery. The Yorkshire paceman hasn’t looked in top form so far, but, he is an experienced bowler, so, he might get another opportunity at Trent Bridge.

Ravi Bopara has sat on the sidelines in the first two ODIs and he is likely to get a playing chance in Wednesday’s match. May be Chris Woakes will be making way for him.

Talking to the reporters in the pre match press conference, Cook said, “We have tried out a few combinations in the first two ODIs, but, they haven’t worked. So, we are looking to make some changes and give opportunity to the reserve players.”

“We are not short of options at all. We have got some quality players in the reserves. Boyd Rankin is there who is a tall bowler and can be quite effective here. Also, Ravi Bopara hasn’t got a game yet in the series. He is a classy batsman and is quite handy with the ball too.”

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STEWART BACKS TREMLETT

The former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart has said that if Chris Tremlett proves his fitness, he must be included in the England squad for the upcoming Ashes series.

Chris Tremlett has been out of cricket since a while because of injury, but, he has got fit now and he will make his comeback by playing for Surrey in the county Championship match against Somerset.

When asked if Chris Tremlett should be included in the England squad for the Ashes, Stewart said, “If he is completely fit, he must be in the squad. He is a fine bowler and with his height, he can be dangerous on any pitch.”

“He has been doing some hard work on his fitness since the last few months. I met him at Oval and talked to him for a while. He told me that he was desperate to be back playing for Surrey and then, for England.”

When asked if Chris Woakes should be slotted at no. 6 in the England test team, Stewart said, “No, I don’t think so. If England has to play 5 bowlers, I would rather slot Matt Prior at no. 6. He is good enough to bat at that position.”

“Woakes is a good, young all rounder, but, his time hasn’t yet come. He should play domestic cricket for at least a couple more years before being given the test cap.”

When asked how weak is the current Australian team, Stewart said, “Look, there is no doubt that England is looking stronger than Australia at the moment, but, I can tell you that Australia’s pace battery will stun a few people. Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson, they are all very good bowlers. In England, on those green pitches, they will certainly be handy.”

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