With T20 cricket out of the way for a while, we focus on ODIs and Test Cricket and this should be a fascinating three-way series between West Indies, South Africa and Australia. It all starts in Providence on Friday with the hosts facing a tough test.
Match Odds & Game Preview
West Indies vs South Africa is our first match, and although the host nation may be the reigning T20 World Champions, their record in the longer format of the game is a poor one. Many of their best limited overs players are missing – Chris Gayle included – and that’s one reason why the Windies are the outside bet here at 3.00 with Bet365.
Dwayne Bravo is another notable absentee and although Kieron Pollard and Carlos Brathwaite are here to provide some fireworks in the middle order, this West Indies side has a pedestrian look about it.
South Africa start as favourites at 1.42 with 888Sport and for good reason: They have the stronger squad with Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers and Chris Morris among those running into form ahead of this tournament. My only real concern is that the majority of South African players come here after a long IPL and unless they are rested, there could be some fatigue factor setting in.
Otherwise, it’s not exactly a mismatch but the visitors just look to be too strong.
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Top Batsmen Betting Picks
Having been listed behind Virat Kohli for much of that IPL, De Villiers starts here as the favourite at 3.75 with Bet365. The former keeper / captain has been breaking all sorts of ODI records since the start of last year’s World Cup and we wouldn’t disagree with that figure.
There are plenty of alternatives however, and Hashim Amla ran into form with 92 in a warm up match this week and he goes off here at 4.00 with Bet365 again. We would also look at Quinton De Kock who likes to carry T20 form into the ODI arena. De Kock was in great form for Delhi over the past few weeks and is a tempter at that same price of 4.00 with Bet365.
West Indies top batter markets are tougher to call these days and this may be one to avoid. The bookies seem undecided too with a number of joint favourites but the best value lies with Marlon Samuels who starts at 5.00 with 888Sport.
Samuels will be fresh, having stayed at home while the IPL played out and has the quality to deal with that potent South African attack.
Other Bet Tips
Talking of those bowlers, South Africa’s market to return the best figures shows Imran Tahir as a hot favourite at a price of 4.00 with Bet365. That may surprise some people but the pitches here may well aid the spinners and the leggie is a decent option.
Betting Pick: I would, however, look at Chris Morris who was rested at times during the IPL and could start strongly here. Morris goes off at 5.00 with Bet365 again.
Another market I would look at here is most sixes: We won’t see quite so many maximums as we’ve been used to over the last two months but with West Indies’ middle order including both Brathwaite and Pollard, the home side are a top value pick at 2.15 with Betfair.
In ODI cricket you see less shocks and favourites South Africa look to be the better option. West Indies’ best chance will come if that powerful middle order explodes and their opponents arrive jaded after their IPL experience.
If, however, the South Africans are at full strength, I expect De Villiers with the bat and Morris with the ball to get them over the line.
Must Read: How to bet on cricket from a mobile phone.
In the News
 cricbuzz.com, West Indies vs South Africa, 1st Match – Live Cricket Score, Commentary, 2016