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Cricket World Cup: 3 absurdly long top runscorer options

| 10.02.2015

Ever since Sanath Jayasuriya moved to the top of Sri Lanka’s batting order at the 1996 edition and flayed the ball to all parts, the World Cup has been a stage upon which opening batsman have expressed themselves in aggressive fashion.

It seems Ladbrokes envisage a similar amount of carnage at the 2015 tournament, with the 8/1 co-favourites to be crowned leading runscorers in the competition, Hashim Amla and David Warner, both opening batsmen.

Simply expecting success from a player because he is out in the middle from ball one is by no means a fool-proof plan as far as that market is concerned though.

There are plenty of players from number three down who demand attention at gargantuan odds, especially as Ladbrokes will pay out at a quarter of the odds for the first five in the list.

Here’s three options that really should be a shorter price:

Ross Taylor – New Zealand – 40/1

Sitting behind new-ball bully Brendon McCullum and red-hot Kane Williamson in the batting order perhaps leave the former Kiwi captain’s odds looking rather bloated, but that is no reason to avoid backing him.

Ross-TaylorHalf of his 12 ODI tons have come in the last two years and in the recent two series, against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, he scored 333 runs in eight knocks.

Marlon Samuels – West Indies – 66/1

Samuels is the highest-ranked ODI batsman in the West Indies squad, but finds himself behind teammates Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith in the betting.

Of his seven career centuries in the format, five have come against India and Pakistan, who he will face during the group stages, while the presence of Zimbabwe, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates should boost the stylish right-hander’s chances of a big score.

Ed Joyce – Ireland – 250/1

If any of the outsiders are set to cause an upset in reaching the knockout stages of the tournament then Ireland have shown themselves to be more than capable of doing so.

Ed-JoyceShould they realise those ambitions, then Joyce will no doubt play a central part. The Sussex man has just finished a thoroughly successful County Championship campaign, scoring 1398 runs and has averaged almost 45 in ODIs for Ireland since 2012.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.