Cricket World Cup betting tips: Top bowler and batsman specials

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins

Richard Mann is on hand with his best bets for the 2019 Cricket World Cup which begins on Thursday.

Recommended bets

3pts India to win the Cricket World Cup at 10/3

4pts Babar Azam top Pakistan tournament batsman at 2/1

1pt Pat Cummins top tournament bowler at 20/1

1pt Ross Taylor top tournament batsman at 50/1

1pt Babar Azam top tournament batsman at 25/1

1pt Sri Lanka to finish the tournament with 0 points at 33/1


India to claim outright glory

The 2011 World Cup winners can still call upon MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli from that fine side, the former still going strong behind the stumps and marshalling the middle order, while the latter has since taken over the captaincy, becoming the best batsman in the world in the ensuing years.

India made it all the way to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy on these shores, having beaten England in the same competition two years earlier, and their ability to peak on the biggest stage of all means they can never be underestimated in a World Cup.

Kohli's brilliance in last summer's Test series in England will ensure he returns with happy memories and as ever, his form at number three will be key for India, as will that of openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.

India's top three is as good as it gets in 50-over cricket, Sharma's tendency to take his time early before accelerating through his innings has already seen him make three double hundreds in ODI cricket and is complimented by Dhawan's natural aggression, particularly through the off-side, before Kohli then generally takes centre stage.

Like England, India are fantastic chasers and although there have been concerns about their middle order, KL Rahul's hundred from number four in the warm-up match against Bangladesh is a huge boost to India, as was a century of his own for Dhoni.

Suddenly, things seem to be clicking into place for India and although they were beaten by Australia at home prior to the IPL, the time for experimenting is now over and the batting, in particular, looks to have a much more settled look to it than at any stage in the last two years.

The bowling is strong and well-balanced and given their rich history in ICC events and their wonderful habit of peaking on the big stage, they look the bet at 10/3.

2019 Cricket World Cup Betting Preview
Click here to read Richard Mann's outright Cricket World Cup betting preview

King Cummins ready to rule

They say bowlers win you matches and Australian can lay claim to having the best in the world housed in the their ranks right now.

Pat Cummins' rise to the top has seemed inevitable ever since he took seven wickets on his Test debut against South Africa at The Wanderers, aged 18, and although a spate of injuries stunted his progress thereafter, he is making up for lost time handsomely.

Cummins has enjoyed a relatively injury free last couple of years and he has developed into a brilliant bowler in all conditions, his searing pace and smart-cricket brain making him Australia's most prized asset.

You feel he holds the key to their World Cup hopes and 20/1 about him finishing the tournament as the leading wicket-taker looks worth taking.

Take Taylor for top batsman honours

Joe Root has been in excellent form so far this summer and makes plenty of appeal in the top tournament batsman market at 14/1 but I'm happy to throw two darts at this at much bigger odds.

50/1 chance Ross Taylor gets the first vote, a vastly-experienced campaigner who shows no signs of slowing down and recently passed 8000 ODI runs in a calendar year that has seen him find some of the best form of his career.

A pivotal member of the New Zealand batting order at number four, Taylor warmed up with a classy 71 against India last week and looks primed for a big tournament.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor celebrates his century
Ross Taylor

My second dart is Babar Azam, Pakistan's classy number three who is rapidly becoming one of the best players in the world.

Azam boasts a white-ball record that has always read well - his strong off-side game helped when the ball doesn't move sideways - and he will look to do a very similar job to that of Joe Root and Kane Williamson at number three.

Azam averaged 55.40 in the recent five-match series against England to enhance his reputation even further and continued his rich vein of form with a brilliant hundred against Afghanistan in their recent warm-up match.

He looks worth a small interest at 25/1 but the 2/1 available for him to finish as Pakistan's leading World Cup runscorer looks particularly generous and must be backed accordingly.

Woeful Sri Lanka could struggle

Many will be expecting Bangladesh and World Cup debutants Afghanistan to struggle but I have much deeper concerns about Sri Lanka who look a shadow of their former self.

Their batting looks weak and with Angelo Matthews surprisingly quiet in their two warm-up games, runs could be an issue, while the bowling has no mystery spin this time and will rely heavily on an ageing Lasith Malinga.

They could struggle and the 33/1 on offer with Sky Bet for them to finish with zero points is worth a small interest.

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