Friday, November 2, 2012

Anderson takes the positives for England

England fast bowler James Anderson believes that his side got plenty of positives, with both bat and ball, out of their tour-opening draw with India A in Mumbai.

The tourists made 426 in their only innings against India's second string, with both Alastair Cook and Samit Patel recording centuries, while Anderson took four wickets to get himself into the groove ahead of the four-Test series. Graham Onions will get a chance in the next couple of games to show what he can do.

James Anderson The comfortable draw was only marred by a thigh injury to paceman Steven Finn, with Anderson admitting that that was far from the perfect scenario. He told reporters: "It's not ideal because you want to choose from your strongest squad, but injuries happen and we're lucky that we've got a number of bowlers that can come in and do a great job for this team. It's exciting for those guys, obviously it's unfortunate, we'd like Steven to be fit for selection." 

Of the overall showing against a strong India A outfit, Anderson added: "The bowlers got a decent bowl under the belt, a few got decent hits out in the middle and that's pretty much all we could expect. "We got two guys getting hundreds, a couple of fifties in there and the lower order chipped in with useful runs as well - I think that's going to be the way we're going to win Test matches out here." 

The Test series gets underway in Ahmedabad on Thursday 15th November, with England 4/1 to win the opener and 4/1 to take the series victory, while Anderson is 7/2 to be his side's leading bowler. 

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Murray turns attentions to London

Andy Murray has admitted that he will need to improve his form if he is to have a chance of winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London next week. 

Murray suffered a shock 7-5 6-7 2-6 third-round defeat to Jerzy Janowicz at the Paris Open and will now switch his focus to London a few days earlier than he had expected. After squandering a match point against the Pole, he told the ATP Tour's official website: "I have to make sure I tighten that up next week, if I get that opportunity in the matches - make sure I don't let it happen at The O2. "

Obviously me and Novak lost early this week, Roger didn't play and then I think the rest of the guys are still in here. "You never know, maybe the guys that go deep here they'll have confidence from having a good tournament. But they may arrive a little bit later and might take a while to get used to the conditions." Murray is 9/4 to win the title in London, with Novak Djokovic 2/1 and Federer 11/4. 

Murray's shock exit in Paris came a day after Djokovic was defeated by Sam Querrey and the Scot was soon followed out of the tournament by Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine, who recently won titles in both Vienna and Basel, was beaten 6-4 6-3 by home favourite Michael Llodra. 

However, victories for both Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic ensured that they both qualified for the Tour finale in London. 

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Button rues Hamilton loss

Jenson Button admits Lewis Hamilton's decision to join Mercedes represents a big test for McLaren. Jenson Button admits team-mate Lewis Hamilton's decision to join Mercedes is a "big loss" to McLaren.

Hamilton has agreed to join Mercedes ahead of the 2013 Formula 1 campaign, with McLaren securing the services of Sergio Perez from Sauber to replace the 2008 world champion. Button, 32, admits Hamilton's decision to leave McLaren is a blow to the Woking based team but is confident Perez will impress next season. 

The McLaren star also rejected the suggestion he will act as Perez's mentor, and insists he can also learn from the 22-year-old Mexican. Button told a press conference on Thursday: "When Sergio is in the team, he'll probably learn plenty from someone who is older and more experienced than he is - which will be me - but I still think that as an older driver you can still learn from a younger team-mate because they will still bring fresh ideas to the table. But an older brother? Definitely not!" The 2009 world champion admits McLaren face a big test in recovering from the loss of Hamilton, but Button is confident his Perez will rise to the challenges ahead. 

He added: "With Lewis leaving, the team lose a very fast driver and one who has achieved a lot- including the last championship won by the team. It is a big loss. "But things change, you learn to adapt and it's definitely not the end of two strong drivers at McLaren. "Sergio will be fast, it's a great opportunity for him and I'm sure he'll take it with both hands." Button is 12/1 to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, while Perez can be backed at 150/1. Hamilton has failed to secure a podium finish since announcing his decision to join Mercedes and can be backed at 6/1 to come out on top and take maximum points this weekend. Don't forget all of the fantastic markets we have to offer, including In-Play betting, can be accessed on your mobile phone with the new and improved Mobile at bet365.