The Cricket Tier
Jul 6, 2016
England should have no problem beating Pakistan in this summer's second home test series - if the bookies are to be believed. Having already beaten Sri Lanka earlier this year, England were expected to find Pakistan a sterner test, but they are still being heavily backed to succeed.
The UK's leading online betting sites have made Alistair Cook's men red hot favourites to win the series, with firms such as Paddy Power quoting prices as low as 4/11 on England. Pakistan are 11/2 to win, with the draw at 4/1.
There doesn't look to be much value in actually backing England at those prices, and even the Asian Handicap market doesn't offer much appeal. Backing England with a one game handicap is still only 4/5.
A further note of caution for anyone thinking of putting their money on England comes from Ed Hawkins at Betfair. He feels that Pakistan actually have a better bowling attack than England, and tips Yasir Shah to be the series top wicket taker.
Here at the Cricket Tier we like to be a little more optimistic about England's chances than that! Although we won't be investing any of our hard earner cash at 4/11, it is likely that the bookies have called this about right.
England were way too good for Sri Lanka and they will actually relish a more competitive series against Pakistan, but it's hard to see anything other than a home series win. The return of Amir in the role of pantomime villain will be an interesting sideshow, and it remains to be seen how he handles the hostile crowds at grounds like Old Trafford.
The main threat to an England series win is not any specific player, but the weather. In a summer that has so far been a total wash out, it's hard to envisage a scenario where we don't lose significant periods of play to the weather. Let's hope that those of us with tickets will at least get to see some action before the heavens open!