Well, this tournament is becoming an abyss in which it is impossible to predict in.
First, it was the failures of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, the progress of both Bangladesh and Pakistan, then yesterday’s result which saw Pakistan overcome England in a Cardiff demolition job.
Edgbaston will host the final semi between ‘small fry’ Bangladesh and now-favourites India. The Tigers will already view this tournament as an awe-inspiring success and step in the right direction, but India are a mighty ODI force that we predict will bring their joy to a standstill.
Bangladesh’s strength with the bat lies with opener Tamim Iqbal, whose century in the opener against England instilled the belief that they could in fact challenge the tournament’s elite. They don’t need patronising. Beating New Zealand was an almighty feather in their cap as the Tigers chased down the Kiwi’s 265, with both Shakib and Mahmudullah making match winning centuries.
Tamim scored an uncharacteristic duck, but was bailed out by the middle order. This time around, they are going to need contributions from the majority if they are to post or chose down competitive totals. We fancy Tamim to be at the forefront of that and would take a punt on him to be Bangladesh’s Top Batsman at 3/1 with Betway, whilst we also fancy Iqbal to score Over 28.5 Runs at 5/6 with Betway.
India coasted home against South Africa. It was not the result that shocked the Proteas, but the nature in which they defeated. India are starting to go through the gears, and that could be dangerous for Bangladesh. As they recalled Ravichandran Ashwin, India looked perilous with the ball.
The wickets were shared out as Umesh Yadav was dropped, but it was Bhuv Kumar who looked most threatening as he picked up 2 at an economy rate of 3.06. Spin prevailed in the last outing at Edgbaston with England’s Adil Rashid picking up 4 against Australia, so we are going to tip Ravindra Jadeja to take the majority of the Bangladeshi wickets today – which can be backed at 4/1 with Betway.
If there is one weakness in India’s batting, it could be the middle order. Or not. Do you know what? Nobody knows. That’s because, well, the top three have been so good and so far, that’s been more than enough. Dhawan, Rohit and Kohli have done the majority of the work and when all three are in such good nick, it seems unlikely that anything is likely to change. Opener Shikhar Dhawan is the tournament’s top scorer and again, we fancy him to go well and score the most runs for India in this game. Back Dhawan to be India’s Top Batsman at 3/1 with Betway, as well as backing him to outscore Rohit Sharma at 8/11.
Then there is the Bangladeshi bowling line-up. Mosaddek Hossain was the unlikely star in restricting New Zealand to 265 with his off-break, but we don’t see India being so inept against spin. If Bangladesh are to threaten this frankly daunting Indian batting order, we believe it will be Mustafizur Rahman who will do the damage with his left arm pace.
He hasn’t lived up to his snowballing reputation achieving just 1 wicket so far, but something could be around the corner. Watch out for those variations and most specifically, his off-cutter. Take a chance of Rahman being Bangladesh’s Top Bowler at 7/2 with Betway.
It might be a hurdle too far for Bangladesh. India are a terrifying proposition for a side like Bangladesh who despite having a place in the semi-final, have won just one game so far. We’re backing India and in truth, what neutral doesn’t want a final between India and Pakistan at The Oval? The smart play is to back India -3.5 Wickets/35.5 Runs at 4/5 with Betway.