India and Pakistan are set to meet in a potentially explosive encounter in the semi-finals of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2011 tournament, at Mohali, India, on Wednesday, March 30. Bookies are unanimous in treating India as favourites to win the game.
India flaunt their batting as their main strength, with Sachin Tendulkar emerging as the leading scorer of the event, in the quarter-final against Australia, on March 24. With Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj and Raina all in ominous good form, the depth in the Indian batting is sufficient to cause sleepless nights to the best bowling attacks.
Meanwhile India’s bowling has also emerged more potent, with greater emphasis on spin. Ashwin has been handed the new ball, with India opting to go in with just two seamers. With Munaf operating alongside Ashwin in the initial overs, India have been able to exploit Zaheer Khan’s greater effectiveness with the old ball. While Harbhajan’s lack of wickets has been worrisome, Yuvraj’s emergence as a serious spin option has more than compensated.
Pakistan pride themselves on their bowling, and their skipper Afridi is the highest wicket taker with 21 scalps in 7 games at this year’s event. Umar Gul, who has hitherto lived under the shadows of more illustrious counterparts like Shoaib Akhtar, Mohd Asif, etc, has been a revelation, after being handed the new ball for the first time. He has been consistently among the wickets and has made the new ball talk. Equally, he has obtained prodigious reverse swing, and has also got his fast swing yorkers going in the death overs.
Pakistan’s batting has been wobbly at the top of the order, but the century partnership between their new opening pair Hafeez and Kamran Akmal against the West Indies would have gone some way in quelling their nerves, ahead of the game against India. Asad Shafiq showed rare composure coming in at number three against Australia. He is followed by old war horses Younis Khan and Misbah-Ul-Haq who are the pillars of the middle order. Umar Akmal is fast emerging as arguably the world’s most exciting young bartsman, but his failing has been a tendency to be over-adventurous. Afridi’s batting has been a parody of his hey day, while Razzaq’s batting talent could be better utilised up the order.
An analysis of bookies odds shows that PaddyPower, Bet365, BoyleSports, BlueSQ, and William Hill all have India favourites at 1.57. This implies that a bet of $10 placed on an India win, with these bookies, will fetch a payback of $25.70, including a profit of $15.70.
In contrast, all of these bookies offer odds of 2.38 on a Pakistan win, except Boyle Sports who offer 2.37. you would earn much less were you back either of these teams with Betfair, who offer odds of 1.49 and 2.28 on India and Pakistan wins, respectively. However, if you are certain of an outright win for Pakistan (without a tied result followed by a Super Over tie-breaker), you could earn as much as $2.75 profit on a $1 investment, if you were to place the bet with BlueSQ, William Hill
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.