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The Cricket Badger looks at both World Cup Semi Finals

The Cricket Badger looks at both World Cup Semi Finals

The Cricket Badger looks at both World Cup Semi Finals

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00:00 / 15:32

The first semi-final sees India, the host, taking on New Zealand, the beating finalists in 2019. In India, 100% through the group stages. They've topped the group stage for the third consecutive Cricket World Cup and they've been the best team in the tournament.

But in the last two World Cups, they didn't win the trophy. This is a repeat of the 2019 Cricket World Cup Semi Final, where New Zealand shocked India over two days, rain affected at Old Trafford. And the problem for India potentially is that none of their nine group stage matches count for anything in a one-off knockout match.

The advantage, though, is that they've been absolutely brilliant through the group stage. They come in with heaps of confidence and they rightly start as hot favourites ahead of the semi-final. The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is a high scoring venue, so don't expect a low scoring affair.

And India come into the match with all of their batters in form. Also, they've pretty much got the best bowling attack in the tournament too. So everything is stacked towards India.

1.4 billion people in the country will be locked on this game. Can they step up when the pressure is really on? 4-11 or thereabouts on an Indian win is a pretty safe bet. But no such thing exists in sport.

We've all seen upsets in the past. And to be honest, New Zealand beating India wouldn't be the biggest upset in the world because New Zealand come in with plenty of confidence as well. But as I've been saying to the Indian fan badgers on the Cricket Badger podcast throughout this entire tournament, probably with a little bit of tongue in cheek at times just to wind them up, will India reserve their dodgy performance for a day where there are no second chances? For New Zealand, they started well.

They then had a little bit of a drop off in the middle, and then they came back strongly towards the end of the group stage to book their place in the semi-finals. And they've got some players in form as well. Rachin Ravindra has been the breakout star of the Cricket World Cup.

565 runs. It's the ninth highest tally in any Cricket World Cup history. And if he scores 14 or more in the semi-final, he'll become the most prolific Cricket World Cup New Zealander of all time.

Nice story about Rachin Ravindra. His father was a big Indian supporter from Bangalore originally. He was a big fan of Sachin, a big fan of Rahul Dravid.

You take the Ra out of Rahul, you take the Chin out of Sachin, and you call your son Rachin Ravindra. Kane Williamson looks to be fit again. He is the Rolls-Royce of a player.

250s in the tournament in three matches. Daryl Mitchell has been splendid throughout with plenty of runs from him. Devon Conway, the opener that will partner Rachin Ravindra at the top of the order, has been a little bit hit and miss.

He needs to perform if New Zealand are going to land a blow on the Indian hosts in this semi-final. New Zealand, they're 13 to 5 to win this semi-final. Now, do you take that? Well, you only take that, I think, if you've already got India on your betting slip to win the competition, because New Zealand could derail them in this semi-final.

I think if you're new to it, I'd stay clear of the outright markets and find some value further down the bookies' consoles. But if you're tempted to take an outright play on either side, wait until after the toss. You'll have 30 minutes to place your bet.

And batting first in this Cricket World Cup has become more of a thing as the tournament has progressed. The dew falls at the start of the chasers' innings. It gives the bowlers a real chance to maybe just move the ball around.

For 15 overs, that can be enough just to derail the top order and to get yourself in a very strong position in the match. So if New Zealand win the toss bat first, that might be the time to get on the Kiwis to cause the upset. And if they're going to do that, there's two key wickets that they need.

I mean, they're all key wickets in the India top order. But Rohit Sharma, he has been absolutely magnificent. The captain has come in as opener, really strode on from the front, been really dominant at the top of the order.

And Virat Kohli is currently the highest scoring batter in the entire tournament, 594 runs for the former India captain. And he has been absolutely magnificent. So if they're going to try and get rid of Kohli, 594 runs, as I say, Rohit Sharma, 503 runs, they need to get those two wickets early.

And like in any big match, India need their stellar players to really step up where it counts. Kohli is averaging 99 in this tournament. And you'll find worse bets here for the top India run scorer.

Seems to be reveling in a home cricket World Cup. And for Virat Kohli to be the highest scorer in this match, it's a five to one shot. Rohit's 11 to two.

You could take both of those with a 50 percent stake. And you got the two best batters in this match on your side at the start of the game. Rajin Ravindra, he's 12 to one for New Zealand to be the leading scorer in the match.

He's maybe worth a little bit of a punt as well, because he has been absolutely brilliant. And the Indian crowds love him because of his roots. According to journalists out there, there's been a few locals saying we used to live next to us until he was eight years old.

He's one of our own. He was actually born in New Zealand. He just has the heritage from India.

Another way into this one is for India to score the most sixes if they are going to be dominant, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja even further down the order. Shreyas Iyer has been hitting sixes left, right and centre. That might be worth a look.

India to score the most sixes in this match is an eight to 11 shot. But India have to be careful. They've won four, lost five against New Zealand in Cricket World Cups.

India recorded the most sixes in eight of their nine league stage matches. And when they played against New Zealand, the only other time it was actually level on sixes. So India, eight to 11 to score the most sixes in this match.

With Pally Power and Betfair, you can get Virat Kohli to be the clear top Indian run scorer, 16 to 5. Devon Conway to be the clear top New Zealand run scorer, 7 to 2. Couldn't put you off either of those two either. And as I said at the start, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, it's a high scoring track for a player to score a hundred in the first innings. It's four to six.

Odds on. I like that bet too. There's a couple of nice, interesting little matchups in this match as well.

Since 2021, Virat Kohli's averaged 21 against left arm spinners. Mitchell Santner's having a tremendous Cricket World Cup for New Zealand. So that'll be an interesting contest.

And Trent Boult, the left arm swinger for New Zealand who caused such mayhem at Old Trafford four years ago. To Rohit Sharma in ODIs, he's four from 107 from 156 balls bowled. So New Zealand will be hoping he can get the Indian captain out early.

So there's a few interesting bets in this first semifinal. I'm struggling to find the value on the outrights. I'm struggling to go away from the favourites, really, in terms of the top bowler, top batter markets as well.

So I'm going to go towards the player of the match markets. Generally, 99% of the time comes from the team that wins. The team that wins should be India.

And India have a few contenders here. If they're going to put in a good performance and get themselves through to the final. Virat Kohli's seven to one.

Rohit Sharma's eight to one. Shubham Gill's nine to one. But Jasprit Bumrah, he, for me, is the best paced bowler in world cricket.

This is his home ground for the Mumbai Indians. And despite not really taking or feeling like he's taken millions of wickets in this tournament, he's still got 17 to his name so far, just five behind Adam Zampa, who's leading the tournament stats. And I think this could be Jasprit's day.

So my best bet in this Cricket World Cup semifinal is for Jasprit Bumrah to take loads of wickets, lead India into the semifinals. He's a ten to one shot to lift the player of the match market. Good luck with all your bets.

Make sure you gamble responsibly. Enjoy the cricket out there, Badgers. I've been James Butler for the Cricket Badger podcast and on this special for Betting Radio.

You are listening to the Cricket Badger podcast. This is James Butler for the Cricket Badger podcast and on this special for Betting Radio. Back for the second semifinal, this one between Australia and South Africa.

Anybody that listened to my preview of this Cricket World Cup will remember that I picked South Africa as potential dark horses to get through to the semifinals. Well, bet lands, happy days. And they've got a chance to really go further and even lift the trophy.

There's been some brilliant South African teams in the Cricket World Cup in previous years, the likes of AB de Villiers, Alan Donald, Sean Pollock, Jack Callis, and they've never quite lived up to the billing. They've come into this Cricket World Cup with less expected of them and have been a really good team unit. This is the third time in Cricket World Cup history that South Africa have met the five times winners Australia in a knockout stage of the tournament.

And this is a real chance for the Proteas to rid themselves of that choker's tag they've had in previous incarnations of this tournament. In the group stages, South Africa beat Australia at Lucknow by 134 runs, and it has been a real team affair. Their bowling has been excellent during this tournament.

The fielding has been brilliant, but it's their batting that has been really stealing the headlines. All the way through their team, the South Africans have been performing. Gerald Kutsia, the paceman that came in to replace Anric Norkia, that was seen to be a real big miss for the South Africans.

Well, he's taken 18 wickets, Kutsia. Same as Marco Janssen, who was questioned as the all-rounder. Was he good enough at number seven and to be bowling as well? Well, the answer has been yes.

17 wickets for Marco Janssen. Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner, 14 wickets for him. So it's been a really good team display from the Proteas throughout this tournament.

But it's been in the batting that they've stolen the headlines. 591 runs from Quinton de Kock, the keeper, at an average of 65.66. Rassi van der Dussen, 442 runs from him. Aidan Markram, 396.

And Henrik Klaassen has come in blasted at number five for 326 runs himself. So South Africa have pretty much got all bases covered. But then so have Australia.

Or have they? Australia's weakness is probably their two best batters in Test cricket. Steve Smith and Manos Labashain coming in in the middle order, four and five, have a tendency just to slow the pace down a little bit and take the stuffing out of Australia's batting line-up. So far in the tournament, it's been David Warner and then Travis Head who have blasted Australia out the blocks.

It's then slowed down a little bit. And then the likes of Glenn Maxwell. I mean, wow, Glenn Maxwell.

I mean, he can win this match on his own. He's come in and blasted them to a big score further down. Maxwell, 397 runs from the seven innings he's played in the tournament, averaging 79.4. It's a double century and another century against Netherlands that have really stolen the headlines.

And he can be hit and miss. So in seven innings, Glenn Maxwell has performed brilliantly twice. And if it is his day in the semifinal, he wins this match on his own.

He has that stardust. He has that pixie dust. But it's a big if.

So the intriguing contest for me in this one is the Australia batters against a very good Pretea's bowling attack. As I said in the other semifinal, the dew factor is starting to become a little bit more of a thing in this tournament. And what we've seen is teams batting first, getting a decent score on the board are able to put pressure on the chasers in the first 15 overs.

Take a few wickets with the swing as the balls may be nibbling about a bit under lights. So if you're looking at the outright prices, wait until after the toss back the team batting first in this one, because this really is a pick them. But the bookies do have South Africa as the marginal outsiders here.

It's that five times world champion tags that goes with Australia. And they do find a way. They found a way this time, despite coming into this tournament in terrible form.

Australia found a way to get through to the semifinals. But South Africa have been the better team. But then South Africa are known as the chokers.

So this to me is very much a pick them with South Africa, 11 to 10 and Australia at three to four. South Africa are the price play, particularly if they bat first. They do have the due to contend with if they chase.

And they're also not the best chasing side. They are much better when they bat first to put up a big score and are able to unleash their bowlers on their opponents. If South Africa bat first, take that 11 to 10 ahead of the match.

Starting top batter markets in this one. If I'm looking at South Africa, Quinton de Kock, 15 to two. Rassi van der Dussen, eight to one.

Split your stake across those two. Rassi van der Dussen is the more orthodox player. Quinton de Kock graceful at the top of the order, gets out the blocks quickly in the power plays.

If you've got the money riding on those two, I reckon you're going to do OK. Equally for Australia, there's two to pick from, but it's a different kind of strategy here. David Warner, eight to one.

Glenn Maxwell, 13 to one. David Warner could get them off to a fantastic start. And as we've said, Glenn Maxwell comes in further down the line and can really hit them home.

He can score a century faster than you blink. Go and make a cup of coffee. Come back and he's got another 40 runs on the board.

He is incredible, Glenn Maxwell. So if it's his day, that 13 to one could look pretty decent. I think on your betting slip.

And equally 11 to one for him to win the man of the match. He doesn't have to top score to do that. To be player of the match in this one, Glenn Maxwell, he also bowls a little bit of spin as well.

It could be a quick 50, sees him across the line. Glenn Maxwell, 11 to one to be the player of the match in this second semifinal. Other markets, I'd take a look at Adam Zampa to be the top bowler in this match.

No coincidence that when Zampa takes wickets, Australia win. When he doesn't, they struggle. He's the leading wicket taker in the competition so far, and he might be worth a look ahead of this match starting.

Take a look at South Africa to have the highest opening partnership. South Africa registered the highest opening partnership in seven of their nine league stage games. And then the outsiders, bizarrely, they're even money as opposed to Australia's 10 to 11 with 40 to one being the draw.

Despite the fact that Australia have got off to decent starts, they're really big opening partnerships have been far lesser than losing an early wicket and then rebuilding. So South Africa had evens to have the highest opening partnership in this semifinal. In six of his last seven ODIs against Australia, Quinton de Kock has scored 25 or more, and he's been in stellar form in this tournament.

Just brilliant. He always looks like he's about to burst into tears. He's got the face of a door mouse, but he's been absolutely awesome in this cricket World Cup.

So I'd definitely take a look at him alongside Rassi van der Dussen to be the leading run scorer in this match. Gun to my head, and I hope you don't do that. I'm taking South Africa to win this second semifinal in India.

It's been a brilliant World Cup. It's gathered momentum and major tournaments like this are remembered for how they finish rather than how they started. So particularly if India lift the trophy, there are going to be big, big parties in India over the next few days.

Good luck with all your bets. Make sure you gamble responsibly. Enjoy the cricket out there, Badgers.

I've been James Butler for the Cricket Badger podcast and on this special for Betting Radio.

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