Twenty20 World Cup Betting Odds, Predictions and Preview

by Thomas

The T20 World Cup gets underway in Sri Lanka next week and it should be quite the tournament. The shortest form of the game, this is cricket at its explosive best as the best players around gather to thrill fans from all over the world.Twenty20 cricket is a great leveller too. It means the best teams in the world can be beaten by the minnows and that nothing is a foregone conclusion. It is a cliché when it comes to sporting events, but anything can happen.

The fact that it takes place in Sri Lanka makes it all the more fascinating. The sub-continent conditions are tough and teams have to adjust accordingly.

In fact, the location is the main reason why England – the No.1 Twenty20 team and World Champions – are not amongst the favourites to emerge victorious. Stuart Broad’s men will go into the tournament with confidence though, as will many other teams gunning to become Champions of the World.

T20 World Cup Schedule

The tournament is contested by 12 teams and split into four groups (stated below). The top two teams then qualify for the Super Eight stage before the semi-finals and final decide the World Twenty20 Champions.

  • Group A – England, India and Afghanistan
  • Group B – Australia, West Indies and Ireland
  • Group C – South Africa, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe
  • Group D – New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Hosts Sri Lanka get the tournament underway on the 18th September against Zimbabwe at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium. All roads then lead to the final which takes place on the 7th October at the Premadasa Stadium.

  • Group Stages – 18th September – 25th September
  • Super Eights – 27th September – 2nd October
  • Semi Final 1 – 4th October
  • Semi Final 2 – 5th October
  • Final – 7th October

Team Previews – The front runners

India5.00 to win. to go all the way and you only have to take a glance across their squad to see why. Led by the imperious MS Dhoni, they have a fantastic blend of experienced professionals – Virender Sehwag included – and youngsters brought up on the Indian Premier League.

They have a deep batting line-up, but it is their bowling that needs to step up under the pressure of this massive tournament. Their nation expects, as always, but can they deliver?

Sri Lanka6.00 to win. In this type of tournament, you can never rule out the host nation. The extra support of the crowd could help Sri Lanka over the line when it counts. It could assist a wicket, decisive boundary or hard-fought innings.

They have lots of talent in their ranks too. As they have been for the last few years, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara will be crucial as part of this extremely well-balanced outfit. Lasith Malinga is one of the most dangerous bowlers in this form of the game too.

South Africa6.00 to win. If Sri Lanka are a well balanced side, then South Africa take it to a whole new level. They have a decent batting line-up, plenty of all rounders and a very handy number of bowling options.

Like every team, they have their star men – Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla spring to mind – and no obvious weaknesses. They have never progressed past the semi-finals at a World Twenty20 though and rightly or wrongly, their ability to hold their nerve when it counts will come under scrutiny.

Team Previews – Contenders

Australia7.00 to win. Captain Michael Clarke has been speaking extremely positively about Australia’s chances in this tournament. Quite simply, he believes his team can go all of the way and let’s be honest, you can never rule out the boys from down under.

Ranked as the 9th best Twenty20 team in the world, they need the tournament of their lives. Big-hitting David Warner is massive for their chances as is Shane Watson and Captain Clarke. It would be a surprise if they went all the way, but they will be competitive.

West Indies7.50 to win. Twenty20 cricket is West Indies strongest form of the game these days and they are a very difficult team to come up against. It certainly helps when you have the explosive Chris Gayle in your team too. He can win a match on his own.

Away from their star man, this is a youthful team with bundles of energy, making them strong in the field. Variety is the spice of life when it comes to their bowling attack too and skipper Darren Sammy has all the tools to be successful if he can get his tactics spot on.

Pakistan7.50 to win. They may have had their fair share of controversies over the last few years, but one thing that has remained consistent is Pakistan being a very strong Twenty20 side. With spin bowling their main weapon, led by Saeed Ajmal, they have a chance of beating anyone on their day.

It may come down to how well they do the basics. They cannot afford to be sloppy in the field or with their shot selection in crucial moments. A lot has to go right for them, but they are a possible dark horse.

England8.00 to win. As mentioned earlier, England are the reigning Champions of this tournament and the No.1 ranked Twenty20 side in the world. Despite this, they are considered as the 7th favourites to go all the way.

One of the key men to their success in this format has of course been Kevin Pietersen, but he will play no part in Sri Lanka. There is no getting away from how much he will be missed as a batsman, but England still have a chance.

The bowling attack is very strong with Captain Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn the main men. It is the batting that is more of a concern with lots of pressure on the world-class Eoin Morgan. They need others, such as Jos Buttler – who hammered Wayne Parnell for 30 in one over recently – to step up if they have chance of defending their crown.

Team Previews – Outside Chance

New Zealand – 17.00 to win. The Kiwis are never talked about too much before a tournament such as this one, but they can be a very dangerous side. Ranked at No.5 in the World rankings, they are a well organised unit led by the spin of Daniel Vettori and the brute force of Captain Ross Taylor.

They certainly have the ability to beat the top teams, but can they do so enough times to win the tournament? It seems unlikely, regardless of the match winners they have in their ranks. They will play their part in some entertaining matches though.

Bangladesh – 67.00 to win. Bangladesh are definitely one of the sides that benefit from the shortest form of the game. It is a leveller for them and gives them a chance of causing an upset or two against the major teams.

They will enjoy the conditions too, perhaps more than most. They will feel confident of getting out of their group too and after that, who knows what could happen. Their problem is a lack of individual talent with Tamim Iqbal their only stand out name.

Team Previews – The Minnows

Zimbabwe – 151.00 to win. Is there a cricketing nation that has been through more than Zimbabwe over the last few years? They have never made it past the first round of a World Twenty20 and in 2009, they were not involved at all.

With South Africa and Sri Lanka in their group, it is hard to see them winning a game, but they will aim to be competitive at the very least. Captain Brendan Taylor will have the squad in decent spirits, but in reality, they are going to struggle to make an impact.

Ireland – 201.00 to win. It was one of the great stories of the 2009 World Twenty20 when the Irish, backed by passionate supporters, made it through to the Super Eight stage. Three years on, they would love to repeat this success.

Kevin O’Brien is a batsman that many teams would like to have in their ranks and the sheer determination to cause an upset could help them enjoy another famous victory or two.

Afghanistan – 1001.00 to win. This is their World Twenty20 debut and one of the biggest advantages for Afghanistan could be the unknown factor. Who knows what to expect from them? They haven’t even played enough Twenty20 internationals to be included in the World rankings.

Conditions are in their favour too and their group opponents – England and India – should ensure they raise their game. Like Pakistan, their use of spin on these turning wickets is likely to be key.

Five T20 players to watch

The World Twenty20 can of course produce new heroes, but here are five players that could be set to make a real impact in this wonderful tournament.

Chris Gayle – 6.00 to win top batsman. We haven’t seen enough of him on the international stage recently, but now is time to show why he is the best in the business.

Steven Finn – 26.00 to win top bowler. Make no mistake about it, the England seamer is a wicket-taker in all forms and could be a crucial member of Stuart Broad’s team. Expect a big few weeks from him.

Shahid Afridi – 21.00 to win top bowler. He may not be as consistent as he once was, but Boom Boom Afridi still gets the fans off their seats. If he turns on the style for any period of time, it is a joy to watch.

Kieron Pollard – Surprisingly enough, it isn’t all about Gayle for West Indies. An excellent all-round cricketer, it is his massive hitting that will get the headlines in Sri Lanka.

Brendon McCullum – 34.00 to win top batsman. He is ranked as the No.1 Twenty20 batsman in the world and it cannot be underestimated how devastating he can be. He carries a lot of New Zealand’s hopes too, something he will thrive under.

The beauty of this competition is that there are lots more players worthy of a mention. We are set for a fantastic couple of weeks as the 2012 World Twenty20 takes centre stage.

About The Author

has written 34 awesome posts on tipsandpicks.com.

Thomas is a sports journalist residing in Norwich, UK and focusses on all things football here at tipsandpicks.com

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