T20 World Cup Team-by-Team Guide: Taking on the favourites

Virat Kohli
Kohli costs India

Ahead of the start of 'Super 12' of the T20 World Cup on Saturday, Ed Hawkins analyses the contenders for glory in the UAE and delivers his verdict on their value on the betting...

"Kohli has the potential to clog India's entire tournament with poor form and poor boundary percentage"

India look on the short side @ 3.39/4

To reach final: 2.0421/20

Batting boundary %: rank 5
Bowling boundary %: rank 1
Game changer: Ishan Kishan
Game clogger: Virat Kohli

Squad: Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Rohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Suryakumar Yadav.

Probable XI: Rahul (16.1 boundary %), Rohit (17.34), Kohli (13.14), Kishan (18.52), Pant (14.99), Hardik (19.13), Jadeja (21.32), Ashwin (9.21), Kumar Shami Bumrah

Analysis: India know their best XI but they don't have the guts to pick it. Virat Kohli has the potential to clog India's entire tournament with poor form and poor boundary percentage. Hardik Pandya's inability to bowl because of fitness issues is another problem. They are likely to go in with five bowlers only until they realise Shardul Thakur should replace Hardik. They have, however, looked every inch the favourites in the warm-ups.

Verdict: Price has collapsed in last few days. Too short.

Plenty of question marks for England (5.85/1)

To reach final: 2.3411/8

Batting boundary % rank: 1
Bowling boundary % rank: 3
Game changer: Moeen Ali
Game clogger: Eoin Morgan

Squad: Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Eoin Morgan (capt),, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Probable XI: Roy (19.27), Buttler (18.59), Malan (16.04), Bairstow (19.42), Moeen (18.96), Livingstone (19.87), Morgan (16.6), Woakes Jordan Rashid Wood

Analysis: England could start with one XI and end with a totally different one. We don't expect Eoin Morgan's captaincy to last which means Jos Buttler could take over and be moved to a finisher role. That frees up Jonny Bairstow to open. Tymal Mills is a must at the death for a team which on economy rate is the worst of the top eight in the world. There's also a worry about Jason Roy. So much to fret about for a side so short.

Verdict: Unsettled side to come unstuck

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Pakistan an interesting proposition at 8.27/1

To reach final: 4.67/2
Top four: 2.01/1

Batting boundary % rank: 3
Bowling boundary % rank: =5
Game changer: Hasan Ali
Game clogger: Shoaib Malik

Squad: Asif Ali, Babar Azam (cap), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik

Probable XI: Babar (17.54), Rizwan (17.01), Fakhar (19), Hafeez (17.41), Asif Ali (19.07), Hasan Ali (23.4), Shadab (17.8), Imad Afridi Rauf

Analysis: Pakistan are, essentially, at home. When hosting in the UAE they rose to the top of the world rankings, producing dominant displays. They know these pitches inside out. They are famed for their bowling but their ranking is a little disappointing. They are famed for being too slow but on boundary percentage they are more than competitive. Oh for Azam Khan to hit with freedom. We fear Mohammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik could damn their campaign with slow play.

Verdict: An attractive price

Australia (9.417/2) lack T20 nous

To reach final: 3.7511/4
Top four: 2.0621/20

Batting boundary % rank: 6
Bowling boundary % rank: 2
Game changer: Glenn Maxwell
Game clogger: Steve Smith

Squad: Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch (capt), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Adam Zampa

Probable XI: Warner (14.32), Finch (16.8), Marsh (16.12), Smith (14.53), Maxwell (17.7), Stoinis (19.57), Wade Agar (9.45), Cummins Starc Hazlewood

Analysis: Around 85% of T20 matches are won by the team which hits the most boundaries. Josh Inglis is Australia's best hitter with a rate of 21.9%. But he's unlikely to play. That sums up Australia's T20 expertise. They have none. Until David Warner is axed and Steve Smith is demoted to a floating role then they will continue to struggle. They are, however, tight at the death with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc in tandem. They'll need to be.

Verdict: Still the worst price in the tournament.

West Indies (9.617/2) deserve more respect

To reach final: 3.55/2
Top four: 2.01/1

Batting boundary % rank: 2
Bowling boundary % rank: 7
Game changer: Kieron Pollard
Game clogger: Ravi Rampaul

Squad: Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher (wk), Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr

Possible XI: Lewis (23.72), Simmons (18.14), Gayle (19.09), Chase (15.59), Pollard (23.57), Pooran (18.74), Russell (26.53), Bravo (15.28), Rampaul Thomas Walsh

Analysis: All the power in the world. Two T20 World titles. The team to beat? They certainly deserve more respect on the market because on tricky pitches the ability to hit boundaries, as Chennai showed in the IPL, is priceless. However in potentially tight games their bowling looks one of the weakest in the tournament. Akeal Hosein's late call-up is a boost but Sunil Narine's absence is bizarre. They may also discover, like franchises all round the world, they are carrying Andre Russell

Verdict: Not the worst wager


New Zealand overrated at 9.617/2

To reach final: 4.03/1
Top four: 2.01/1

Batting boundary % rank: 7
Bowling boundary % rank: 6
Game changer: Mark Chapman
Game clogger: Martin Guptill

Squad: Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Kane Williamson (capt),

Possible XI: Guptill (19.6), Mitchell (15.66), Williamson (15.64), Conway (18.16), Philips (19.76), Neesham (16.821), Jamieson (16.45), Santner (11.9), Ferguson Boult Sodhi

Analysis: New Zealand have been all the rage for some time. But we're not convinced. Martin Guptill's record in the UAE is poor, they could commit the cardinal sin of picking too many openers while the preference for Tim Southee over Adam Milne in the squad suggests the brains trust is on holiday. Sure, they'll be competitive but the batting and bowling rankings suggest they are now overrated.

Verdict: No value. Best price went long ago

Can South Africa (16.5) play with freedom?

To reach final: 5.39/2
Top four: 2.77/4

Batting boundary % rank: 8
Bowling boundary % rank: =5
Game changer: Rassie van der Dussen
Game clogger: David Miller

Squad: Temba Bavuma (capt),, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen

Possible XI: De Kock (17.7), Bavuma (11.7), Markram (16.8), Van der Dussen (13.03), Klaasen (15.38), Miller (14.6), Pretorius (10.9), Shamsi Rabada Nortje Ngidi

Analysis: South Africa have emerged as the big-priced fancy post warm-ups. They cast off the shackles in a high chase against Pakistan. Can they finally play with freedom and intent with the bat when it counts? Maybe. Another question: can South Africa really win the thing when they've not buried the hatchet and picked Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers and Chris Morris?

Verdict: Best backing them in matches when chasing

Bangladesh (85.084/1) look doomed

Top four: 5.24/1

Batting boundary % rank: 9
Bowling boundary % rank: 4
Game changer: Afif Hossain
Game clogger: Shakib-al-Hasan

Squad: Afif Hossain, Liton Das (wk), Mahedi Hasan, Mahmudullah (capt), Mohammad Naim, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed, Nurul Hasan (wk), Shakib Al
Hasan, Shamim Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed

Probable XI: Naim (13.35), Das (15.07), Shakib (11.7), Mushfiqur (11.55), Mahmudullah (11.65), Afif (15.2), Mahedi Hasan (17.7), Nurul Hasan, Saifuddin, Taskin, Mustafizur

Analysis: Bangladesh have already lost to Scotland in the early groups and been given a scare by Oman. They are likely to be cannon fodder. Their boundary percentage with the bat is awful and there's no way they'll be able to keep pace with the big guns in the next stage.

Verdict: Sluggish batting damns them

Sri Lanka (80.079/1) can cause a shock

Top four: 5.04/1

Batting boundary % rank: 4
Bowling boundary % rank: 3
Game changer: Wanindu Hasaranga
Game clogger: Kusal Perera

Squad: Charith Asalanka, Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal (wk),, Akila Dananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Binura Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (capt),, Maheesh Theekshana

Probable XI: Nissanka (16), Kusal (14.09), Chandimal (16.2), Avishka (15.6), Hasaranga (16.49), Rajapaksa (19.9), Shanaka (18.18), Chameera, Karunaratne, Theekshana, Kumara

Analysis: Sri Lanka qualified for the tournament with ease when they were expected to have some struggles. Maybe they did against Ireland but they went under the radar because of the ultimately large margin of victory. There are concerns about batting frailty and Wanindu Hasaranga will be a consistent wager for top bat if prices remains in the 20s. The bowling looks tasty and with the toss in their favour they should claim at least one big scalp.

Verdict: Most likely to cause a shock

Afghanistan (70.069/1) look short of pace

Top four: 6.611/2

Game changer: Naveen-ul-Haq
Game clogger: Ashgar Afghan

Squad: Asghar Afghan, Farid Ahmed Malik, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi (capt),, Mohammad Shahzad (wk),, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen ul Haq, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk),, Rashid Khan, Usman Ghan

Possible XI: Shahzad, Zazai, Gurbaz, Karim, Ashgar, Zadran, Nabi, Rashid, Hassan, Mujeeb, Naveen

Analysis: There will be much excitement about taking big prices about Afghanistan on supposed slow, turning tracks in the UAE. But they play only once in Sharjah, the most helpful wicket, and that is against a qualifier. And they may not have the right make-up for a shock or two anyway. They look to be shy on pacers and as the IPL showed, that was the key bowling strength. Naveen-ul-Haq is a good option for top Afghan bowler.

Verdict: Most likely shock is versus spin-shy New Zealand


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