Ed Hawkins previews the first action from the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in the 10-over tournament and says there's value galore in an unpredictable format...
"The match odds market has Deccan 1.594/7 favourites with Pune out at 2.608/5. We can't really see the justification in the huge gulf and would be happy to recommend Pune getting a foothold."
Abu Dhabi T10 Match Day One
TV: live on Sky Sports from 12:00
This pits the rags in the betting against the tournament favourites. Arabians, last year's winners, are outsiders on Betfair Sportsbook's outright at 7/1 with the Warriors at 9/2. The match odds market on the exchange agrees - the Arabians are at 4.2016/5. That is a huge price for an often toss-dependant format.
There is little to like about their squad selection - 49-year-old Pravin Tambe a lowlight - but they should be able to hit well enough to build pressure. If they get the opportunity to bat first they are worth a sneaky trade. There is no Chris Lynn, Dwayne Bravo or Lasith Malinga this time so they are reliant on individual efforts from Laurie Evans, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez.
Nic Pooran and Rovman Powell give the Warriors a strong batting line-up but we're unconvinced by their bowling.
Pune will rely on a Sri Lankan core. Thisara Perera, Chamara Kapudegera, Malinda Pushkapumara and Ajantha Mendis should be solid enough but it's not a collection of names that make one think they are going to mount a serious challenge. Chadwick Walton and Tom Kohler-Cadmore will be charged with fast starts. Hardus Viljoen and Mohammad Amir are decent pace options with the ball. Devon Thomas, the Caribbean Premier League performer, is a good pick with the gloves and power hitting.
Deccan have recruited well. Sunil Narine is a perfect fit for this tournament. He can go in and blast away at the top of the order and then sneak in some cheap overs. Kieron Pollard, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Shahzad and Wanindu Hasaranga are excellent hitters while Sri Lanka's Bhanuka Rajapaksa could be a shrewd pick-up. Best of all they boast Imran Tahir with the ball. But they do appear to be a little light on other renowned bowling stock.
The match odds market has Deccan 1.594/7 favourites with Pune out at 2.608/5. We can't really see the justification in the huge gulf and would be happy to recommend Pune getting a foothold. We think the toss will be key throughout the tournament. Batting first is likely to get tougher as the tournament progresses. Last year 13 out of 29 matches were won by the side batting first. And six of those came in the first ten.
The most attractive element of Delhi Bulls this term is Waqas Mahmood. The Pakistani gun pacer could be a consistent value wager for top bowler when prices become available because he is an out-and-out wicket-taker. His risk - and that of the batsman - could see him go for plenty but pick up wickets. Alongside Fidel Edwards Delhi clearly believe pace is important.
Up front with the bat Adam Lyth and Evin Lewis are an excellent opening combination. Mohammad Nabi, Sherfane Rutherford and Dasun Shanaka will be required to do damage in the middle-order.
The Tigers have set their stall out, reckoning that it will be spin that wins it. Noor Ahamd, Qais Ahmed and Mujeeb ur Rahman could be unstoppable as a spin trio. Ahmed, however, was disappointing in the Big Bash and at just 15 this is another significant test with batters looking to hit him out of the attack from ball one.
Their balance is good, though. Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher are expected to open, Tom Moores is dangerous at No 3 wile Isura Udana and David Wiese are solid all-rounders. They have also picked up George Garton, last year's top tournament wicket-taker.
Again, we don't see a justification for the gap in odds. Delhi are 1.748/11 with the Tigers at 2.1011/10. The latter price could look very generous indeed with Fletcher and Johnson blazing away if they manage to bat first.