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Cricket World Cup Day 6: Scene switch adds to England’s woes

| 19.02.2015

Since England’s cricket World Cup preparations began in earnest, the side have almost exclusively based their plans around their old enemy, Australia.

They arrived Down Under in mid January and have played five of their nine matches prior to the start of the World Cup either against Mitchell Johnson and co or XIs made up of Australian players.

Their first game in the tournament was against the men in green and gold and every single match since the 216-run win over the ACT Invitational XI over a month ago has been on Australian soil.

For their second match in the tournament they play New Zealand, in New Zealand.

In a competition with dual hosts, a degree of travelling between countries is expected. However, the fact that the side arrive in new surroundings needing a win so early in the group stage against a well-oiled unit is far from ideal.

Eoin Morgan’s first World Cup match was a desperate affair, with James Taylor’s 98* papering over the cracks of a bleak effort against one of the World Cup favourites.

Facing Brendon McCullum’s Kiwis, who also have strong claims on the trophy, will be a tall order for England considering the Black Caps have won both of their Pool A fixtures at a canter.

Unsurprising odds of 1/2 for victory sit beside New Zealand, while England can be backed at 13/8. A run of five consecutive ODI losses at Wellington suggests doing so would be a brave decision though.

Later in the day two other Test-playing nations yet to experience a win do battle in Pool B. Pakistan were bested by their own great rivals India, while the West Indies were outshone by Ireland.

World Cup head-to-heads place favouritism with the West Indies, who have won six of the nine meetings, but their abject display against the Irish works against them in the latest encounter. Pakistan are 4/6 fancies compared to 6/5 on Jason Holder’s side.

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.