With only around a week to go for World T20’s inaugural game, things are beginning to take shape quite beautifully. The fifth edition of World T20 will start on 16th March with Bangladesh taking on Afghanistan. The previous four editions which were held in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 were won by India, Pakistan, England and Afghanistan respectively. This ICC tournament is like a boon for many affiliate and associate nations as the shortest format of the game produces close games more often than not. Let’s take a look at the tournament format and major teams participating in the tournament.
For the first time in the history of the tournament, as many as16 teams are participating. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe along with other associate and affiliate nations will compete for a spot in the super ten stage. Those ten teams will compete for a semi-final spot and four teams will advance.
Australia may be in the rebuilding stage, but they can never be underestimated. Australia has a powerful batting line up with lethal bowling attack. Fine set of all-rounder like Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell can drive the game anytime in the matter of balls. With a balanced side, Australia have a good chance to shine in upcoming ICC event.
Players to Watch out for: Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson.
Outright Win Odds: 5.00 @ Bet365
Bangladesh has emerged as a pretty competitive team after years of effort and preparation. This edition of World T20 is hosted by Bangladesh and they can be a dangerous side to play against. With players like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, they can score runs quickly in the middle overs. They have the home advantage and can go some distance in the competition. However, semis look to be a remote possibility let alone winning it.
Players to Watch out for: Shakib Al Hasan.
Outright Win Odds: 34.00 @ Bet365
The one time title winners have a good site at their disposal but haven’t been able to deliver at the big stage. They have a good balanced side with expertise in all departments. Stuart Broad has been their best bowler and has performed better as skipper. Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler can devastate any bowling attack late in the innings. With Hales opening the innings and good strong middle order to follow, they surely have a good team.
Players to Watch out for: Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler.
Outright Win Odds: 11.00 @ Bet365
India, after winning against Australia at home hasn’t had the best of times. They lost to South Africa and then to New Zealand. They were then knocked out in the group stage of Asia Cup. However, considering the fact that these conditions will be home-like for them and a potent batting line up that they have, they’ll still be a tough side to deal with. Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni will be key players along with veteran Yuvraj Singh.
Players to Watch out for: MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh.
Outright Win Odds: 5.50 @ Titan Bet
Despite having a pretty young side, the Kiwis have done brilliantly well in recent past. Ever since the inclusion of Corey Anderson in the side, they’ve looked far more dangerous. Ross Taylor provides solidity in the middle order with hard hitters like McCullum and Corey Anderson to follow. With a decent bowling attack coupled with superb fielding, they have the potential to thrash any side in the game.
Players to Watch out for: Corey Anderson, Brendon McCullum.
Outright Win Odds: 11.00 @ Bet365
Pakistan, quite expectedly, have produced very unexpected cricket in recent past. They have a wonderful bunch of guys, and on their day can defeat even the best of the teams. Although they have a fragile batting line up, they have a bowling department which makes up for it beautifully. Hafeez and Ajmal, two of the World’s best spinners. Shahid Afridi is in brilliant form as was seen in Asia Cup. As they have such a good bowling attack and a reasonable batting line up, it won’t be surprising if they climb up the ladder in this ICC event.
Players to Watch out for: Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal.
Outright Win Odds: 7.50 @ Bet365
After beating India comfortably in the home series, the Proteas lost the Test Series to Australia quite convincingly. South Africa, like a few other teams, is in rebuilding phase. However, with players like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Far du Plessis, they have a well-balanced side. They do not a have a specialist spinner, but all round skills of Robin Peterson somehow makes up for it. With recent results not going their way, they might not look strong contenders for the trophy, but they can certainly turn the tables.
Players to Watch out for: Dale Steen, AB de Villiers, David Miller.
Outright Win Odds: 7.00 @ Bet365
Of all the teams that are playing in the competition, Sri Lanka has the best record in T20 games, if seen statistically. Under the captaincy of Angelo Matthews, the team has really prospered well as seen in Asia Cup. Sri Lankan team features a variety of unorthodox bowlers like Lasith Malinga, Ajantba Mendes and Suranga Lakmal to name a few. Their squad is a good amalgamation of youth and experience with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene leading the batting department. Because of their excellent combination, it’s no surprise that they’ve performed so well in recent past.
Players to Watch out for: Kusal Perera, Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara.
Outright Win Odds: 7.00 @ Bet365
West Indies is arguably the most colourful yet the most underrated side of the tournament. The men from Caribbean Islands will have an aim to defend their title. Chris Gayle played a monumental role in the success of their previous campaign. Apart from Chris Gayle, they have quality players like Dwayne Bravo and Lend Simmons to handle middle overs. Their bowling attack is basically led by Sunil Narine, their T20 specialist bowler with support from Darren Sammy and Ravi Rampaul. They do have a little inexperienced side for the longest format, but it’s like perfect for the T20 format. If their players can deliver even in the vicinity of their stature, they have a good chance to defend the title.
Players to Watch out for: Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine.
Outright Win Odds: 8.00 @ Titanbet
Rest of the Teams:
Other than the above mentioned teams, there are other teams participating like Ireland and Afghanistan They are emerging teams with many good players. Realistically, they do not have a chance to make it past the first stage, but they can definitely cause upsets. Ireland has done it in past and would be looking to go a step further this time around.
Players to Watch out for: Kevin ‘O Brien, Paul Stirling, Asghar Stanikzai, Mohammad Nabi, Brendan Taylor.