County form makes Strauss best bet to be England’s top scorer
If England are to take the early initiative in the first match of their three-game Test series with Sri Lanka then they will require their batsmen to improve upon their early-season performances for their counties.
England are 4/5 in the cricket odds to win the opening Test in Cardiff, while it is 4/9 that they claim a series victory.
However, to do so they may need some hefty contributions with the bat from the middle order and the current form of Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell does not inspire much confidence of this happening.
Trott has been the model of consistency for England in the last year in all forms of the game and can often be relied upon to make a useful contribution.
But he has only made double figures once in his four innings for Warwickshire this season and an average of just over 15 is not ideal ahead of Sri Lanka.
Warwickshire teammate Bell is not playing much better with a top score of 34, although he does have some bigger scores for the county in the one-day version of the game.
Meanwhile, Pietersen did only manage to make 48 on his Surrey debut in an embarrassing defeat against the students of Cambridge MCCU.
Therefore, England will be relying on opening pair Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook to ensure a good start to ease the pressure on the middle order.
Strauss has already made 151 for Middlesex against Sri Lanka, while Cook has played in all of Essex’ matches and is averaging close to 40.
Based on these statistics, Strauss certainly looks the pick of the batsmen and is 4/1 to be England’s top runscorer across the series.
Alternatively, Cook, Trott and Pietersen are all also available at 4/1 in the same betting market.
A £30 stake on Bell being England’s top runscorer would return £180. New customers can sign up here for a free £30 bet.