Top 10 Cricketers to Watch This Summer
The summer of cricket is finally upon us and despite a near washout at Headingley, England managed to complete a Test series victory over New Zealand to get the ball rolling.
Over the next three months England face the old enemy Australia, South Africa tour Sri Lanka and the ICC Champions Trophy gets underway in the UK. There are lots to go on and here are our top 10 cricketers to watch out for this summer:
10. Mitchell Starc
The Australian fast bowler is set for an interesting Ashes series after playing for Yorkshire over the past two years, picking up invaluable knowledge of English wickets. Starc is young and ready to make a name for himself; with 30 Test wickets under his belt he is primed to handle those Ashes expectations.
9. MS Dhoni
If you follow the sports betting news you’ll know MS Dhoni has a tough job on his hands captaining India in the Champions Trophy this summer. No Tendulkar, Yuvraj or Sehwag means this new-look India side could fall at the first hurdle but Dhoni has the voice and experience to combat the transition.
8. Kevin Pietersen
He may not even play this summer if his bruised knee fails to heal before the first Ashes Test in mid July yet Pietersen will be the tip of everyone’s tongues whether he makes the field or not. The controversial figure has the ability to make a century on his Test return or fall for a duck, we’ll just have to wait and see what this summer brings.
7. Graeme Smith
The South Africa captain has already pulled out of the Champions Trophy with injury but is set to return for the Proteas’ tour of Sri Lanka. Smith’s presence will be crucial to success for the touring side as they aim to move up the ODI rankings, while he could also play a T20 international or two.
6. Chris Gayle
Another superb IPL campaign with the Royal Challengers Bangalore saw Gayle smash the fastest century in T20 history and a record 175 total from one innings against Pune Warriors. Gayle is in the form of his life and will bat big for the West Indies team this Champions Trophy. Expect him to make the runs and earn his team a semi-final berth.
5. Graeme Swann
Having undergone elbow treatment following a successful tour of India last winter, Swann picked up where he left off with wickets against New Zealand at Lord’s and Headingley. The spinner’s influence could earn England the Ashes this summer and cricket betting fans are advised to follow him closely.
If you’re interested following Smith’s progress through the Ashes there may be opportunities for you on Bet365’s new careers site. It’s worth checking out!
4. Alviro Petersen
South Africa are England’s biggest challengers for the Champions Trophy this summer and Petersen must make the runs if they’re to lift the title. He replaces captain Graeme Smith at the top of the order and if he doesn’t perform this team won’t progress.
3. James Anderson
Anderson is unlikely to be the biggest star of the summer but his place in the England side is crucial if captain Alastair Cook wants to retain the Ashes Urn. If Anderson can keep fit over the Champions Trophy England have a demolition unit in their bowling attack that knows how to topple the Aussie top order.
2. Michael Clarke
Australia’s captain and magician of the bat in 2012, Clarke hasn’t had the best of season’s so far but is more than capable of upping his game. He is one of a handful of Australian’s with Ashes experience this summer and that could make all the difference when their backs are against the wall.
1. Alastair Cook
If Clarke is Australia’s talismanic captain then Cook is the ultimate England legend. His batting performances won England the Ashes on Australian soil last time out and he’s been a resilient player throughout a transitional period for the squad. Cook is cool, confident and considered when at the Test crease and he will set the bar that fellow opener Nick Compton must match.