Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pietersen confident of England one-day glory

England has a good enough one-day side to win the World Cup in 2011, according to experienced batsman Kevin Pietersen.

The 30-year-old has seen England improve dramatically in the shorter form of the game in the last 12 months.

They were thumped 6-1 at home by Australia last summer, but since then they have made it to the Champions Trophy semi-finals, won the ICC World Twenty20 tournament and beaten both Australia and Bangladesh this summer.

England will head to the ICC World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka full of confidence, especially as they have exciting and powerful batsman such as Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter who can both make match winning knocks.

Pietersen has admitted England could be at a disadvantage as they must beat "subcontinent teams on the subcontinent", which is going to be a massive challenge but the players are positive and that has led to the recent impressive results.

The international cricket odds suggest the side could struggle in unfamiliar conditions, and Pietersen is aware of this.

He said: "That's going to be our biggest worry, along with playing spin there, but with the mindset the guys have from winning a trophy away from England, we can take that across to India and I do think that we have a very good chance of winning it."

England have been drawn in Group B for the World Cup 2011 which means they face India, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.

However, before the competition gets underway there is the small matter of a tour of Australia. The Ashes cricket odds make England underdogs, but they will be looking to improve in the longer form of the game ahead of the clash.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

England 'still not Ashes favourites'

England's recent dominance over Australia in the short forms of cricket does not make them favourites to successfully defend the Ashes this winter, according to one legend.

England beat Australia in the final of the World Twenty20 tournament and now they lead their old enemy 3-1 in their five-game one-day series. But Andrew Flintoff, who was part of two Ashes-winning sides, doesn't think the side should get carried away.

England are on the hunt for a comprehensive win over Ricky Ponting's side and this has led to real belief they could hold an advantage mentally over Australia by the time the Ashes series gets underway later in the year.

Flintoff told Press Association that England fans should keep their feet on the ground despite recent success as Australia's one day and Test sides are "very different". Indeed, the Ashes cricket odds still make Australia favourites.

Both sides face Test series' against Pakistan before they clash this winter, and the 32-year-old reckons the performances in these games will be more of an indicator for who goes into the series as favourites.

"With the two different forms of the game, we can take a bit of confidence from it, but I don't think it plays a major part," Flintoff said.

"The one thing over the next few months will be to see how Australia and England play against Pakistan - the two series are both in England, so let's see how the Test sides have progressed."

One England man brimming with confidence currently due to his success against Australia is spinner Graeme Swann.

He took four wickets in England's latest win at Old Trafford and he has claimed that Andrew Strauss's men could now be regarded as the "golden generation" of English cricket.

Meanwhile, Brazil and Spain continue to contest favouritism in the World Cup 2010 betting ahead of the first quarter final clashes.

The two sides are still on course to meet in the final after winning their groups.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Sport Will Get More Attention in England for Next Few Weeks? Cricket or Football?

England soccer team qualified for the World Cup 2010 Knockout Stages, which will draw a significant attention towards the game of football among English sports fan. This might well disrupt the interest for ongoing cricket series between Australia and England.

England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, all cricket playing nations featured in this years soccer world cup. However only England got qualified for the knockout stages while host South Africa along with New Zealand and Australia failed to make it further beyond the first round itself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finn 'will be a Test star'

Steve Finn is a quality bowler who possesses all the attributes to trouble Australia during the winter Ashes series, according to one of his England colleagues.

Stuart Broad was recently given time off from playing to go on a period of "intensive strengthening", and now Finn, a newcomer to the Test arena, is also going to be sent on a similar period of work in the gym.

The duo bowled together in Test matches against Bangladesh earlier this year and could also take to the field when England play a series against Pakistan at the end of July.

England also play a series of Twenty20 and One-Day games against the same opposition throughout the summer and early autumn before they fly out to Australia in November to prepare for an Ashes winter. The Ashes cricket betting suggests England will struggle on tour, so the player will need to be fully fit.

Both Broad's and Finn's period of strengthening were designed to help ensure they will be in top shape to face Australia, and the former said you need to be in "really good physical shape" for Test cricket so it is a "good move" to send Finn to the camp.

"He is a talented bowler with all the attributes to be a great success in international cricket," Broad said.

"It is a great opportunity for him to go away and do that and then come back strongly against Pakistan in the Test match series."

While Finn has come in and taken Test cricket by storm, one man he could potentially face in the Ashes is looking to rekindle his form to ensure he does not miss out.

Peter Siddle is recovering from back stress fractures and is due to play in the Indian Champions Twenty20 League to try and impress the selectors and get into the Australia team.

Meanwhile, in other sports news, the World Cup betting odds no longer make Spain favourites for the tournament.

They were replaced by Brazil after the European Champion's lost to Switzerland in their opening game.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Bresnan fears for Ashes

There is some concern that bowler Tim Bresnan could miss England's battles to retain the Ashes in Australia this winter.

It has been confirmed the Yorkshire star will not play in the second and final Test against Bangladesh at Old Trafford – and Ryan Sidebottom has replaced him in the squad for that match.

Bresnan suffered a stress fracture in his foot during the first match of the series at Lord's, and his performance in the match was also criticised by England coach Andy Flower.

After the clash the coach claimed that Bresnan had picked up some bad habits playing the shorter forms of the game, and some of them "were not great" for Test match cricket, something which showed against Bangladesh.

However, Flower also had some words of encouragement for the Yorkshireman.

The coach said: "It is a real pity he has picked up this injury as I was looking forward to seeing him in Manchester and how quickly he could adapt back into being a Test bowler."

Meanwhile, England cricket legend Ian Botham has predicted that Steve Finn will be a key figure for Flower's side in Australia this winter. The Ashes cricket odds suggest England will struggle to retain the urn, but Botham thinks the Middlesex man can do a job.

He told the Mirror that he believes Finn has emerged as a Test match cricketer at "just the right time" but it could be interesting to see if Flower will pick both Finn and Stuart Broad in the Ashes matches.

Meanwhile, England remain third favourites in the World Cup 2010 betting, ahead of the big kick off.

The squad have now arrived in South Africa and are preparing to face USA in just over a week's time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flower to rest key England players

England international cricket coach Andy Flower may rest some of his key players as they face a hectic schedule over the rest of 2010.

The team are still celebrating after their impressive victory in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, but they are due to play a Test series against Bangladesh in the coming weeks.

England are also scheduled to play Pakistan in a series of ODIs, Tests and Twenty20 matches before their Ashes winter.

Flower has seen England Test captain Andrew Strauss take a break and sit out the Twenty20 matches, but he will return for the Bangladesh Tests, while the likes of Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood and Graeme Swann have all played pretty much non-stop over the last 12 months.

England's cricket odds suggest they should make short work of Bangladesh, and it could be that some fresh faces are brought in for those games.

The coach claims it could be hard to fit "strength and conditioning" training into an already busy schedule, so he may consider rotating his squad and giving some players a bit of a rest.

"We have a very busy 12 months ahead of us and we are going to have to rest players at various times," said Flower.

"In certain situations it is possible that we will have to rest some players either for emotional reasons such as stress and sometimes it will be for strength and conditioning reasons."

Flower has also moved to stop England players getting too carried away about their Twenty20 triumph by warning that the national team is about all forms of cricket and there is still "huge scope for improvement" in some areas of their game.

Meanwhile, the England football team's World Cup 2010 betting odds makes them third favourites for this year's tournament.

They will be looking to emulate their cricket counterpart's trophy winning efforts when they travel to South Africa next month.

Friday, May 07, 2010

South Africa appoint former Test stars

South Africa have announced that former Test player Andrew Hudson is to take the role of convenor of selectors.

The 45-year-old will replace Gerald Majola who had been doing the job on a temporary basis, combining it as his role of chief executive with Cricket South Africa.

Hudson played 35 Tests for South Africa over a six-year period ending in 1998 and he will be joined on the selection panel by another former international star in Shafiek Abrahams, who has been added as a new member.

South Africa are currently bidding for glory in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, and the cricket betting odds suggest they are in with a good chance of winning the tournament.

Hudson is likely to face the first task of his new reign when the Test squad to face the West Indies in June is named.

Speaking about the appointment, Hudson said: "I am looking forward to getting involved with the Proteas again. They have done well recently and I am confident that we also have the emerging talent to take our team forward."

It was recently announced that South Africa is to host the Champions League Twenty20 tournament during September.

Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi confirmed the staging of the competition and said that South Africa was an "ideal host" due to their recent staging of big cricket competitions.

Meanwhile, in football news, South Africa is preparing to host the World Cup.
However, sadly for the Bafana Bafana the World Cup 2010 odds makes them huge outsiders of the tournament.