It promises to be a fast and furious few weeks in Bangladesh as the World Twenty20 gets underway and holders West Indies have all the ammunition to defend their title.
As England have found out in recent weeks, the Windies have one of the most destructive batting line-ups in world cricket led by the T20 specialist Chris Gayle.
The 34-year-old leads from the front for his side with 1096 runs at an average of 33.21 in Twenty20 internationals but more importantly he has scored those runs at a strike rate of 140.33.
Add the returning Marlon Samuels and skipper Dwayne Bravo to the lower order hitting of Darren Sammy and Dinesh Ramdin and you have the batting to strike fear into any bowling attack in the world.
Sub-continent conditions will come into play at this tournament and the likes of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka should all go well but Caribbean conditions are not unlike those that will be seen in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet.
Throw in the fact most of the West Indies batsmen, in particular Gayle, Samuels and Bravo, have all featured in the IPL is an added bonus but in Sunil Narine they have a spinner who can make a real difference.
The mystery spinner was named IPL player of the year in 2012 and was a key component of the West Indies side that one this tournament that same year.
This time around Bravo’s men are 9/1 with Ladbrokes to retain their title and there is no doubting they have the firepower and the T20 experience to go all the way.
There will obviously be a strong challenge from the likes of India (4/1), Pakistan (7/1) and Sri Lanka (11/2) in home conditions, while New Zealand (8/1), who have had some excellent results in recent months against the likes of India and West Indies, cannot be overlooked.
The paceman has been a key component to his side’s revival in Test cricket and he is a vital part of the limited overs set-up.
England are 12/1 to win a second ICC Twenty20 but after their performances throughout the winter and in two warm-up games against the Windies they attract no support here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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