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Coral profile England’s main contenders for 2016 ICC World Twenty20

Simon Sinclair | January 28, 2016

The sixth World Twenty20 takes place in India from March 8th – April 3rd, with England 7/1 chances with Coral to lift their second trophy in this format of the game.

Ahead of the explosive event, we profile each of the other seven T20 full members, starting with those in England’s Group 1.

Group 1

Sri Lanka

Bangladesh ICC Cricket T20 WCup

Holders Sri Lanka enter the World T20 determined to defend their crown following their triumph in Bangladesh two years ago.

However, the Lions will be without Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara from their title win in 2014 due to the retirements of the illustrious duo.

As a result, they are priced at 10/1 in the outright betting, making them rank outsiders of the main nations to retain the trophy in India.

Lasith Malinga will carry the weight of expectation to lead his team to victory with his miserly bowling at the end of innings. Boasting a bowling average of 21 and an economy rate of 7.27, the 32-year-old often proves a the thorn of teams looking for a late surge.

The off spin of Sachithra Senanayake will also be crucial on the turning tracks. Ranked third in the world by the ICC, the 30-year-old will look to improve his impressive bowling average of 17.

Without Jayawardene and Sangakkara, much of the run scoring burden will be placed on veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan, while Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews will also have to rise to the occasion to aid their side’s pursuit of glory.

South Africa

India South Africa Cricket

South Africa are searching for their first trophy triumph at the World T20 after previously falling short.

The Proteas have endured a torrid time during their Test series against England, but will have the chance to put their problems in the longest format of the game aside when they arrive in India.

Francois du Plessis’ men are backed at 6/1 to clinch the tournament for the first time, despite their ranking of sixth by the ICC ahead of the competition.

AB de Villiers will be the player South Africa look to guide their push for glory. The 31-year-old has struggled to find his best form in the shortest form of the game at international level, averaging just 22.

However, he has proven in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore that he has the ability to thrive in conditions in India.

A lot will be expected of leg spinner Imran Tahir on favourable pitches following his fine displays in one-day cricket in 2015.

The 36-year-old was named in the ICC one-day international team of the year and the Proteas will be hopeful he can improve his impressive bowling average of 15 in India.

West Indies

Sri Lanka West Indies Cricket

Caribbean nation the West Indies enter this tournament as T20 top dogs, ranked number one in the world.

Having lifted the trophy in 2012, the Windies have an excellent recent record with semi-final appearances either side in 2009 and 2014.

Darren Sammy’s men are backed at 15/2 to secure their second title behind India, Australia, South Africa and England, despite their position at the top of the ICC rankings.

Chris Gayle has proven to be one of the most destructive players in world cricket during his illustrious career. The 36-year-old can win matches single-handed due to his power at the crease and, if he is allowed to thrive in India, expect the Windies to progress into the latter stages.

The leg spin of Devendra Bishoo could play a vital role for the West Indies in the tournament along with the versatile off spin of Marlon Samuels.

If selected, Dwayne Bravo’s experience and control would be an asset to Sammy’s side due to the inconsistent play of the Windies’ seamers, especially in tough conditions.

Group 2

India

India Twenty20 World Cup

The hosts are 3/1 favourites to win the tournament on home soil for a second time, after triumphing in the inaugural edition in South Africa 2007, despite languishing in eighth place in the ICC Rankings.

India will face difficult matches against Australia, New Zealand and fierce rivals Pakistan in Group 2 to advance to the latter stages.

The hopes of Dhoni’s side will hinge of the batting displays of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, both of whom have proven to be top-quality performers in this short cricket format, along with their skipper.

Their knowledge of conditions and ability against spin bowling will be a huge advantage in their drive for the title, although they have been troubled by inconsistent form over the past few years, which has seen them drop down the world rankings.

Off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be the key bowler for the hosts. The 29-year-old is ranked second in the world, boasting a bowling average of 27 in his 28 matches. His experience and craft on spinning pitches could be enough to lift India to victory.

Australia

Australia v India - T20 International - Adelaide Oval

Australia have surprisingly failed to win the World T20 in their previous five attempts, though are current ODI world champions. The Baggy Greens’ best display in this competition was their final loss to England six years ago.

Aaron Finch’s men are backed at 5/1 to end their trophy drought, coming into this tournament as the second ranked team in the world.

The Aussies will face a tough task in their group matches against India, New Zealand and Pakistan, but will be confident of reaching the knockout phase for the fifth time in six attempts.

Finch and David Warner have the ability to take any bowling attack in the world apart in the opening overs, scoring at blistering rates due to their powerful hitting.

Australia’s skipper still holds the world record for the highest international T20 score with his innings of 156 against England in 2013, and will be essential to any push his team make towards the title.

Their lack of a quality spinner could halt their charge on turning tacks, and the likely absence of injured paceman Mitchell Starc could further blunt their attack.

New Zealand

South Africa Cricket New Zealand

New Zealand will travel to India determined to win their first international trophy since 2000 after narrowly missing out at the Circket World Cup in 2015.

The Kiwis were defeated in the final of the 50-over format by Australia, but displayed great pedigree to prove they could challenge for the T20 crown with odds of 15/2.

Brendon McCullum will hand the captaincy over to Kane Williamson for the tournament due to his impending retirement in February, leaving New Zealand without their inspirational leader.

However, Williamson has become one of the leading batsmen in world cricket over the past three years and will relish the opportunity to display his quality once again on the big stage.

The 25-year-old will be aided by opener Martin Guptill, who he recorded the highest partnership in T20 international cricket history with in the Kiwis’ emphatic 10-wicket win over Pakistan.

Guptill showed his destructive ability in the World Cup last year with an impressive double hundred, and will play a crucial role in his side’s hopes of lifting the trophy come the end of the tournament.

Pakistan

Mideast Emirates England Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan had a strong start to the first two T20 World Cups, winning the competition in 2009 and finishing as runners-up in the inaugural tournament.

Since then, they have reached the semi-finals twice, but crashed out at the Super 10 stage in Bangladesh and are ranked sixth in the world ahead of the contest in India.

Their struggles in recent times have left them as one of the outsiders for the tournament at 9/1 to clinch the crown for a second time.

Shahid Afridi remains Pakistan’s most potent weapon at the age of 35. His destructive batting and leg spin are still enough to terrorise the opposition, but he will have to be at his best to aid his team’s pursuit of the title.

Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik will also be crucial as there is a lack of quality depth in Pakistan’s batting lineup to impose daunting totals on their opponents.

Mohammad Amir’s return from suspension will boost Pakistan’s bowling lineup, but much of burden will be placed on the left arm of paceman Wahab Riaz to supply the wickets needed for a push to the final.

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