England v Ireland betting preview
England continue their bid to become dual limited over world champions when they play Ireland at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday morning.
Following an impressive batting display in the tie with India, England's price to the win the World Cup has been shaved to 7/1 and are they're seen as virtual certainties to qualify for the knock-out stages at 1/25.
England should be too strong for Ireland and that is reflected in the match odds, they are 1/33 to get their second win of the tournament, Ireland are 11/1 to shock the cricket world in the same way did in the last World Cup by beating one of the big name cricketing nations.
If the Three Lions are to make a big impact on this tournament they will need to improve on their bowling and fielding having conceded 630 runs in two innings including 292 against the part-timers from Holland.
Andy Strauss will point to the flat pitches in the defence of his bowlers and that is a fair point, the Indian pitches are generally a batsman's paradise but their was shoddy fielding and bowling in both matches. Graeme Swann himself labeled some of the play as schoolboy.
Whilst the fielding has been poor the batting has been excellent. Andrew Strauss was the hero against India with an impressive 158 and looked in little danger throughout his innings before finally succumbing to the bowling of Zaheer Khan. He put England into a position from which they should have won the match before a cluster of wickets led to an unlikely tie.
If you fancy another big score in this game you can back a century to be scored at 13/8, captain Strauss is 5/2 to be England's top scorer once more.
Ian Bell has hailed the influence of batting coach Graham Gooch in England's in the tournament. "He is just an incredible guy who adds a lot of experience and knowledge into our group and the way he played in World Cups in the past in the sub-continent, the experience he passes on to us is really important," said Bell. If you fancy Bell to do the business in Bangalore you can back him at 5/1 to top score. He is 6/5 to beat Jonathon Trott's score in our special match bets between particular batsman.
A familiar face for England fans will be Ed Joyce. The 32 year old Dubliner defected to England in 2006 and made his debut against his country of birth. However following some disjointed performances he was discarded following the 2007 World Cup. He failed to win back his place in the England team and in October 2010 he made it clear he wished to return to play for Ireland. The ICC granted him special dispensation to return to the Irish fold allowing him to play in his second World Cup.
Joyce is 3/1 to top score for the Irish and the same price to hit a half-century. In the player match betting he is paired against William Porterfield and is rated at 6/4 to score more than his team mate.
If you are still half asleep when you watch the match and see a number of players with funny coloured hair, don't worry you're not dreaming. The Ireland team have agreed to undergo a charity makeover for charity. Members of the Irish squad will take part in 'Shave or Dye 2011', a campaign in aid of Irish Cancer Society which is bidding to raise one million euros through a number of similar events in the coming weeks. Players can choose to either shave their head or dye their hair.
I expect England to win but will look for some value in some of the other markets on offer at William Hill. Tim Bresnan took five wickets against India with some great bowling at the death of the innings and his full and straight bowling suit these type of pitches. I would back him to be the top England bowler again at 7/2.
Kevin Pietersen is due a big knock and the 11/4 that he top scores and the 6/5 he hits a fifty are appealing. For the Irish Niall O' Brien looks the best value at odds of 6/1.
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