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India lead the chasing pack in World Cup 2007 betting
bet365 betting special

It's still more than 3 years until the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, but CricInfo's betting partners bet365 are already offering odds on the tournament. A lot can change between now and then, but cricket lovers with a crystal ball may be tempted to get their bets in early.

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World Champions Australia have been at the top of world cricket for a long time, and bet365 expect this trend to continue well into the second half of the decade. With a constant stream of world-class young players, Ponting's men show no signs of relinquishing their crown, and are installed as 6/4 favourites.

India reached the final in South Africa, and their improvement should continue. They are joint second-favourites alongside South Africa. By 2007, Sachin Tendulkar will still only be 34, and who knows how many One-Day International records he will have broken? He is still likely to be the lynchpin of the Indian batting, and the team's odds are 11/2.

Brian Lara will be approaching his 38th birthday in 2007. Could this tournament be the crowning glory of a glittering career? West Indies are a generous 8/1 to win on home soil.

England's stated objective is to be number one in the world by 2007, so any punters who think they can reach that target will be well rewarded with odds of 10/1. England are certainly an improving side, but punters should ask whether they can improve anywhere near enough in less than four years.

Two other sides who must improve to meet national expectations are Pakistan and Bangladesh. While Pakistan (10/1) are rebuilding in the shadow of Wasim and Waqar, Bangladesh (1000/1) are just starting to show glimmers of improvement that could encourage punters looking for each-way value. But can they improve far enough to be challenging the best in the world by 2007?

Sri Lanka are the least favoured of the previous winners but, at 14/1, perhaps represent the best-value of the less-favoured sides. As for Brian Lara, World Cup 2007 could be Sanath Jayasuriya's last hurrah, and cricket fans who bet on Sri Lanka at 14/1 could be emulating Sanath's broad smile in 2007.

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