Cricket: Complete Guide to the World Cup

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The Independent Online
BETTING

AUSTRALIA ARE favourites to win the first of the Super Six matches, best priced at 8-11 (Hills and Stanley), which offers value to those who feel Steve Waugh's side are gaining momentum, having won their last two games. India, however, have won their last three, and look better value to take what is effectively a knock-out tie (best price, 11-10 with Ladbrokes). Either Dravid (7-2, Stanley), Ganguly (7-2, generally) or Tendulkar (11- 4, Hills) look nailed on to top score for India. Tendulkar is fancied, but back all three for a small profit (as long as one of them top scores). Bevan (6-1, generally) and Gilchrist (9-2) are value bets to top score for Australia.

MEDIA MONITOR

England left wallowing as the empire strikes back

English cricket folk have had dumped on their welcome mat irrefutable evidence that the game has passed them by. And the dwindling, distracted English community needed to be confronted in this way. For much too long, it has been oblivious to the vibrant, intoxicating new world of cricket. Of all the weaknesses in the English game, the most damning has been a steadfast refusal to see the rest of the world and to recognise the innovators, visionaries and revolutionaries who know Lord's as a place, not a shrine. England may have ruled the game as it did the waves at the start of this century, but the country has no clear place in the new cricket order at the dawn of the new millennium.

The Australian doesn't pull its punches in assessing the Poms.

Alec Stewart's poor form and the dependence on `bits and pieces' players rather than genuine all-rounders was cruelly exposed. Stewart may be forced to quit, coach David Lloyd has already gone before being pushed. England's glory days seem a long way behind them but sadly few people seemed to notice - they were all watching Manchester United.

India's Hindu newspaper also provides an analysis of what when wrong for the host nation, the day before India play Australia.

WEBSITE

http://www.ozsports.com.au/ cricket/index.html

A good starting point for information about the game Down Under, including stats, results and links to other Antipodean sites. The defining section is the "Your Say!" page. Read what others think and make your own pronouncements.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

All fast bowlers like pitting themselves against it.

Australia's Glenn McGrath on the bowling radar which will be deployed from today. McGrath and Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar are favourites to be the first to beat Aussie Jeff Thompson's 99.7mph record, set in the 1970s.

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