England Reach Semi-Finals And Are Bookies Favourites Again
Before the 2019 ICC World Cup started, just about every sports betting operator including Bet365, William Hill, Betrally and Paddy Power had England as the World Cup favourites (3.0) to win the competition outright.
The hosts had arguably the most powerful batting lineup on paper and a quality bowling attack that would threaten any team. There were also many other factors that helped them have the best odds with the bookies. This included the fact that they were playing at home, were used to the conditions and would enjoy overwhelming crowd support.
Three Losses Changed Betting Odds
If you were one of the punters that put money on England at the start of the tournament, you would have had reason to be a little concerned. England, who started the tournament, well suddenly faltered midways and ended up losing against Pakistan, Australia and then Sri Lanka.
Each loss not only dented the confidence of the English team, but also shifted the odds with the bookmakers. In fact, England suddenly went from being the favourites to a team that had to win their game against New Zealand in order to qualify for the semi-finals. Australia and India took the top two spots with the sportsbooks and England were ranked third based on their odds.
One of the main reasons England played poorly was the absence of Jason Roy at the top of the order. England lacked the swagger and fire at the top of the order . That cascaded into the rest of the side, leading to them struggling against weaker opposition.
Roy’s return against India gave England the confidence they were lacking. Consequently, they once again look like the team that is destined to win this World Cup.
England Reclaim World Cup Favourites Tag
England played great cricket against the Kiwis. In fact, they won convincingly by 119 runs to become the third team to qualify for the semi-finals. They join Australia and India who have already booked themselves a place in the semis. Now that England has reached the semi-finals, sportsbooks have once again ranked them as the World Cup favourites (2.75). Next World Cup favourites are Australia in second place (2.90) and India in third place (3.25).
England put on a batting masterclass against New Zealand as J Roy (60) and Jonny Bairstow (106) gave them a tremendous start. Their opening partnership put 123 points on the board. Meanwhile, the Kiwis usually depend on Lockie Ferguson to give them the breakthrough. However, he missed the game due to an injury.
England made the most of it as their batsmen scored 305 runs to put the Kiwis under pressure.
England did not have to wait long to strike. They got rid of Henry Nicholls in the first over and Martin Guptill fell soon after. Kane Williamson once again had to take on the burden of bailing his side out of trouble. Nevertheless, he could not do it this time around. Williamson and Ross Taylor both lost their wickets by being run out. It did not take long for the rest of the batsmen to surrender tamely, either.
The fact that England hammered New Zealand in both departments of the game is one reason why they have quickly reclaimed the World Cup favourites tag with the sportsbooks. They once again look like the team to beat in the World Cup and will be hoping that they can deliver in the semi-finals and finals to lift the prestigious trophy.
Australia or India?
While the semi-final matchups are to be confirmed, it is quite possible that England will have to play either Australia or India. England has already beaten India and will be confident. On the other hand, they lost to Australia and know that it is going to be a tough challenge.
The first semi-final is scheduled to take place on July 9 in Manchester. The second semi-final will take place on July 11 in Birmingham.