THESE are halcyon days for the England cricket team. Its excellent run has been a very rewarding one for the Barmy Army’s supporters – and for spread betters who have got with the team along the way.
With a huge selection of volatile markets and a wide range of different scores recorded, cricket is the perfect sport for the number-crunching world of sports spread betting. The nature of spread betting means that profits – and losses – are maximised by how right or wrong you are, so it pays to be informed.
Andrew Strauss’s team has not been defeated in a Test series since a tour of the West Indies almost two and a half years ago and the scrapbook is bursting with achievements. It claimed an honourable draw in South Africa and has otherwise beaten all comers, including Australia home and away, securing back-to-back Ashes victories.
However, there is one name ominously missing from its roll call of victories: India. It is England’s opponent for a four match Test series which begins on Thursday at Lord’s and there is much to ponder for spread betters and plenty more facts to know.
It has been 15 years since England managed a Test series triumph against this particular adversary and India visits as the world’s top-ranked side. Bookmakers have installed the host as favourite, but there is an argument that spread betters could have the chance to pull off a profit by opposing England.
At home, England is undoubtedly a match for anyone, but it only beat Sri Lanka 1-0, with the level of its dominance directly proportional to the more unsettled weather conditions. The Three Lions prospered when it rained and under overcast skies, but a sunnier and warmer July and August would be more of a leveller.
You can only beat what is in front of you, but it must be said that England’s fantastic run includes two series wins against Bangladesh, which is nothing less than would be expected. And there can be no denying that the Australian sides England faced in the winter just gone and the summer of 2009 were hardly vintage ones.
A series against India will be the acid test as to how good England really is. It faces a team boasting an even longer undefeated spell. India last lost a series when falling 2-1 during a three match tour of Sri Lanka in July and August 2008, since when it has beaten England 1-0 over two Tests in winter 2008.
That is not the only psychological advantage the visitor can lay claim to. Duncan Fletcher was the man who turned England’s fortunes around when he became coach in 1999. He lifted the side from the bottom of the Test rankings to third place and was in charge of the 2005 Ashes winning side, providing the platform from which the Three Lions would continue to flourish. Fletcher is now coach of India, having succeeded Gary Kirsten in April of this year.
Fletcher’s inside knowledge of the England players and set-up will be of undoubted benefit and, with his side in such excellent condition, there looks sufficient incentive to sell England’s series supremacy with Sporting Index. The market awards a team 10 points for winning the series and five points per match won by, therefore the maximum total is 30 and the minimum is zero. Sporting Index traders can be expected to trade England as favourite at around 4-7. Sellers of its supremacy would profit from any result other than an England win by keeping both the draw and India win onside.