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Cricket World Cup Outright tips and predictions from James Milton

The 2023 Cricket World Cup starts on Thursday and defending champions England are rated as the main dangers to tournament hosts India in the outright betting.

James Milton's Cricket World Cup Outright Tips

England to win the Cricket World Cup @ 10/3
Sri Lanka to the reach the semi-finals @ 11/4
Mohammad Rizwan to be Pakistan Top Team Batter @ 8/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…..

The 2023 Cricket World Cup begins in Ahmedabad on Thursday when England take on New Zealand in a repeat of the unforgettable 2019 final.

Four years ago, England claimed victory on the boundary count-back rule after a tied Super Over against the Black Caps at Lord's and Jos Buttler's men are 10/3 to retain their title.

Hosts India are 2/1 favourites and the last three World Cup finals have all been won by the home team: England at Lord's in 2019, Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2015, and India themselves at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium in 2011.

WhatCricket World Cup 2023
WhenThursday 5th October - Sunday 19th November 2023
How to watchSky Sports Cricket & Main Event
OddsIndia 2/1, England 10/3, Australia 9/2, Pakistan 13/2, South Africa 9/1, New Zealand 10/1

England to win the World Cup @ 10/3

India set a high standard with a stellar top three of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli, classy pace and spin bowlers, and home advantage.

However, since their shock World Cup victory in 1983 they have won only one more 50-over title and one T20 World Cup and carrying the hopes of more than a billion cricket fans is a heavy burden even for such an experienced squad.

There are doubts over many of India's rivals, though. Australia are 9/2 despite a poor run of form in ODIs and some significant injuries while Pakistan can expect a hostile reception from the home supporters and South Africa have never got past the semi-finals at a 50-over World Cup.

New Zealand's inspirational captain Kane Williamson is returning after a long injury lay-off and will not be fit for the opening game against England, so the 2019 winners look the best bet to topple India.

Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow are among the most destructive white-ball batsmen on the planet and Dawid Malan and Joe Root should lay a solid foundation for England's big hitters.

The holders have plenty of spin-bowling options including ace leggie Adil Rashid, the pace of Mark Wood, the new-ball threat of Chris Woakes and left-arm trio Reece Topley, David Willey and Sam Curran, all of whom could help Buttler emulate 2019 World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan.

James Milton's Tip:

India will be hard to beat but England, the reigning 50-over and T20 world champions, are a tempting price to upset the hosts.

Stokes, the hero of the 2019 final, warmed up for this tournament by smashing 182 - England's record individual ODI score - against New Zealand last month and the holders' batting depth and range of bowling options mean they should be serious contenders again.

Sri Lanka to reach semi-final @ 11/4

With doubts over several of the big guns, less fancied teams such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and even Afghanistan should be confident of racking up some wins in the league stage of the tournament.

Each team plays the other nine sides with the top four advancing to the semi-finals and Sri Lanka, despite the absence of injured all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, could cause an upset.

They romped to victory at July's ICC Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe, winning all eight of their matches to book their place at the World Cup.

The Lankans' stock has fallen since 2011, when they lost to India in the World Cup final, and their batting will need to improve if they are to outrun odds of 25/1.

However, they have played some good cricket in ODIs this year, beating Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh (twice) in September's Asia Cup, and they are worth a bet at 11/4 to reach the semis.

James Milton's Tip:

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 50 by India in the Asia Cup final, a brutal reminder of their batting frailties, but their bowling attack gives them a chance of upsetting Australia, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand in the battle for a semi-final spot.

Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Dilshan Madushanka and Matheesha Pathirana have starred for the Lankans recently and, having shocked England at Headingley in the league stage of the 2019 World Cup, they should not be taken lightly in conditions that will suit them better.

Mohammad Rizwan to be Pakistan Top Team Batter @ 8/1

Pakistan captain Babar Azam is one of the world's top ODI batters, but he has never played a 50-over international in India and has not reached 50 in any of his seven innings against the World Cup favourites in this format.

Babar could be worth opposing in the Pakistan Top Team Batter market and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan looks the value at 8/1.

Rizwan's batting has improved dramatically over the past couple of years. He has developed into an ultra-consistent opener in T20 cricket and is relishing the responsibility of batting at number four in the ODI team.

He started this year with scores of 77 not out, 28 and 77 in a home series against New Zealand and comes into the World Cup after an impressive Asia Cup campaign.

James Milton's Tip:

Mohammad Rizwan is a big price to top the Pakistan tournament runscoring chart, having scored 67, 44, 63 not out, two and 86 not out in his last five ODIs leading into the World Cup.

Rizwan's ability to turn over the strike is invaluable in the middle overs of the innings and he has also shown in T20 cricket that he is an inventive, powerful hitter who has a key role to play for Pakistan.

James Milton's Cricket World Cup Outright Tips

England to win Cricket World Cup @ 10/3
Sri Lanka to Reach Semi-final @ 11/4
Mohammad Rizwan to be Pakistan Top Team Batter @ 8/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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