The World Cup T20 starts at Lord's on Friday 5th June, and after the exhilarating Indian Premier League, this tournament will look to kick off with a bang, where the best of the best come out to show who is truly the masters of the short format.
Here is an analysis of each group, and the outright betting for each team to lift the trophy. Go to www.hollywoodbets.net for more information.
India – 3/1
Bangladesh – 80/1
Ireland – 500/1
India are arriving to this year’s World Cup as defending champions, and after an amazing month of the IPL, they have more match practice and knowledge of opposition players than any of the other teams.
They are favourites for the tournament and will look to their captain MS Dhoni and big six-hitter Yuvraj Singh to capitalize on any poor deliveries from the opposition.
Bangladesh with captain Mohammed Ashraful and all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza have an easy ticket to the Super 8’s if they can overcome Ireland (who have beaten Pakistan in an ODI before!).
Pakistan – 8/1
England – 10/1
Netherlands – 500/1
Pakistan is entering the World Cup with a point to prove, after being side-lined for most of the International season. Bowler destroyer Shahid Afridi and unorthodox (yet-effective) Sohail Tanvir, both has experience against quality opposition, and are both entering this tournament in good form.
England is playing host to this tournament, and will look to give their home crowds something to cheer about. Kevin Pietersen’s attacking play, along with James Anderson’s impressive bowling; make their team one not to be ruled out of contention for the top places.
Netherlands have Australian pace man Dirk Nannes, who impressed all with the new ball in the IPL, and will look to give some hope to the Dutch.
Australia – 9/2
Sri Lanka – 8/1
West Indies – 14/1
Australia will look to add some new silverware to the cabinet, as this is the only competition they have yet to win. All-rounders Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds have made this format of the game their own, and will look to take apart the opposition from all angles.
Sri Lanka invented aggressive batting in the short format of the game, and will look to Tillakaratne Dilshan to continue this, in what is the toughest group of the tournament. Muttiah Muralitharan impressed as always in the IPL and will look to upset the Australians as he as always done!
The West Indies are not a team to write off, as they have shown in the past to really step up to the occasion, where players like Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo have been known to be big game-breakers.
South Africa – 4/1
New Zealand – 10/1
Scotland – 1000/1
The Protea’s are entering the tournament on the back of an impressive IPL, where players like JP Duminy and AB de Villiers were consistent throughout. De Villiers impressed with a 67-ball hundred in the IPL, and Duminy was among the top-run scorers.
New Zealand have proved the short format is one of their forte’s, and will look to skipper Daniel Vettori to put the opposition in a spin, and Brendon McCullum, who is a devastating player when in form.
Scotland shouldn’t pose a threat in this group, but upsets have been known to occur in the 20-20 format, and this tournament will be no different!
I believe that India should rightfully make it to the final, as they have prepared, put the money in, and have gained enough experience on the international stage to pull it off.
Australia are keeping a very low profile entering this tournament, and I think they could quite easily sneak under the radar, and complete their ICC collection.
Yet, I really do think it's time for South Africa to put their hand up, and claim their first World Cup title. They are the number one ODI ranked team in the world, and have shown terrific form in the past eight months. They are my choice to lift the trophy.
I think that it's all to play for, and no team is going to be entering this tournament with the thought any game being an exhibition one.
The World Cup will have a lot to live up to after IPL, and if they do, we are in for two weeks of absolute mayhem. Sit back and enjoy!