Champions Trophy – Pre Tournament Picks

Along with football, cricket is one of my other main passions and with the Champions Trophy taking place with England I thought we’d provide some pre tournament tips and a couple of long shots.

The trophy features the top 8 ranked teams in the ICC rankings so neither group is particularly easy however Group A looks slightly easier with Bangladesh in there. We’ll go through each team and pick out players we think offer value.

We will be basing our bets on a 10 point staking system ranging from a low stake (1 point) to a high stake (10 point). Feel free to decide what amount you want to use per point but stick to the system to ensure you have the best chance at profit.

Group A

Australia
Bangladesh
England
New Zealand

Australia’s batting line up is full of firepower so if they get going they could well record the highest team total of the tournament (3/1 with Bet365) however picking out the top batsman is a tricky shout. Steve Smith is an incredibly talented batsman and he is the most consistent in their line up so he is understandably the favourite however one big score from one of the explosive players could see them overtake him. We’ll be staying away from the Top Batsman market.

Like their batting, their bowling is full of explosive bowlers, Starc, Cummins and Pattinson all have the ability to bowl over 90+ mph and there is the potential they could take a few early wickets. In Starc they also have a brilliant bowler at the death, with this in mind we’ll be backing Starc to be their top bowler.

Bangladesh are a team on the rise however on their travels they aren’t as good. They’ve had mixed warm up matches, they’ve beaten New Zealand, scored runs (341) against Pakistan but lost then yesterday got hammered by India. Their batting line up features Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order who has been around and done it before. If he can get going at the top of the order then they have a decent chance of putting a total on the board.

There is one stand out bowler in their lineup Mustafizur Rahman who is only 21 however he’s already played in big tournaments all around the world including the IPL and T20 blast. He has plenty of tricks in his armoury which come in handy at the death when batsman are looking to attack him. It’s hard to see past him being their leading wicket taker providing he can hit his areas.

England have been very impressive recently in ODI’s and have posted numerous scores over 300 in the past year. Featuring Hales and Roy at the top of the order who have the ability to get England off to a quick start. Root, who bats at 3 is up there with the best batsmen in the world and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him top the run scoring charts for England. Moeen Ali has recently been in great form however as he bats lower down the order he’s unlikely to get the time in the middle to score the runs need although he is 40/1 with BoyleSports.

England’s bowling lineup features plenty of talent however it’s hard to pick out one standout bowler and the odds reflect this. Chris Woakes is Mr Consistent and is complimented well by Mark Wood who can bowl 90+ mph. We’ll be staying away from the top bowler market for England.

New Zealand are like England in that they have an extremely talented batsman in Kane Williamson with more aggressive batsmen like Guptill and Taylor coming in around him. Guptill is in decent form scoring a hundred in the warm up matches however it’s hard to pick between him and Kane for top run scorer.

Trent Boult is the obvious pick for Top Bowler as there is every chance his swing bowling will enable him to make early inroads especially if the weather is a bit overcast however if he doesn’t get wickets early on he might struggle towards the death. Like England we won’t be having a bet on Top Bowler.

Group B

India
Pakistan
South Africa
Sri Lanka

India have arguably the best batsman in the world in their line up and they’ll be looking for him to have a good tournament, it’s hard to see past him being their top run scorer unless someone else goes big in one of the matches.

India have plenty of talent in their bowling line up with two excellent death bowlers in JJ Bumrah and B Kumar, they are backed up with the pace of Umesh Yadav and spin from R Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja. Due to his swing bowling at the start and his superb death bowling we’re backing B Kumar to be their top bowler.

Pakistan are a team that on their day can beat anyone however they aren’t the most consistent team which makes it very hard to pick a Top Batsman so that’s a market that we’ll be staying away from.

Mohammad Amir is an incredibly talented bowler who made the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he got caught match fixing, he’s back and is still young. Talent wise he is Pakistan’s best bowler so we’ll be having a bet on him to be their top bowler.

South Africa have a top order to be enviable of with Amla and de Kock opening, Faf du Plessis at 3 and AB de Villiers at 4. They’ll be banking on those 4 players to score the majority of the runs but they also have Miller to come in at the end to smash the ball around. It’s hard to pick a top run scorer from that line up so we’ll be leaving that market alone.

Along with a talented batting line up they also have the former number 1 ranked bowler in Imran Tahir, who always seems to take wickets. However their star bowler currently is Kagiso Rabada who has overtaken his team mate in the bowling rankings despite only being 22. He is capable of bowling 90+ mph and during the ODI series with England he bowled Jason Roy with a 93.2 mph yorker.

Sri Lanka are a team that isn’t the force of old, without Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in their line up their batting looks a bit suspect. There isn’t really any star batsman so we’re going to hold off betting on them.

Their bowling is in the same boat as their batting, Malinga is the favourite to be best bowler however he isn’t the force of old and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t their top bowler. Of the rest Kulasekara could do well as he is a swing bowler but I don’t think it’s worth betting on.

Pre Tournament Bets

From all of this we are going for the following as singles

Mitchell Starc – Top Australia Bowler @ 9/4 with Coral 5 points

Tamim Iqbal – Top Bangladesh Batsman @ 11/4 with Bet Victor 3 points

Mustafizur Rahman – Top Bangladesh Bowler @ 11/4 with Coral 8 points

Virat Kohli – Top Indian Batsman @ 9/4 with William Hill 6 points

B Kumar – Top Indian Bowler @ 7/2 with Bet365 4 points

Mohammad Amir – Top Pakistan Bowler @ 10/3 with Coral 5 points

Kagiso Rabada – Top South Africa Bowler @ 3/1 with Bet365 5 points

Total Outlay 36 points

Longshots

Mustafizur Rahman & Mohammad Amir to be top bowlers for Bangladesh & Pakistan @ 15/1 with William Hill 2 points

If you want to back all of our picks you can with Bet365 and it has odds of 6416/1 1 point

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