Sri Lanka plays host to the fourth edition of ICC World Twenty20, it is the first of three consecutive World Twenty20’s that are being hosted on the Indian subcontinent where cricket is supported fanatically and passionately. This tournament is likely to be one of the most open of recent years with no clear favourite and the format of the tournament seeding likely to produce evenly matched Super 8 groups.
Over the next 19 days cricket fans will be treated to a bonanza of top class, high-octane action. With some of the biggest hitters in world cricket looking to smash their way through the opposition’s bowling attacks. The question on all cricket fan’s lips is who will win the competition, here’s Carlo’s thoughts on the four teams he thinks will make up the Semi Final lineup
England – Defending champions and top of the Twenty20 rankings, England would be favourites for this tournament in any part of the world other than the subcontinent. That said they did win the sole T20 game on their Indian tour last Autumn and the T20 series against Pakistan in the UAE this February so should not be underestimated. They should progress through to the Super 8 without issue and with the exception of Sri Lanka, they will be confident of beating their likely Super 8 opponents and setting up a Semi Final
India – They have to be considered a huge threat in familiar conditions and with a batting line up boasting three players from the 20 top ranked batsmen in T20 internationals, including top ranked batsmen, Kohli. They have a strong enough batting lineup to score big and give their slightly weak bowling attack an easy ride. They will be tough to beat and whilst they may come unstuck against South Africa, they should come 2nd in their Super 8 group.
Sri Lanka – As hosts and with arguably the strongest team on paper, Sri Lanka are my idea of the likeliest winners of the tournament. They have a strong batting lineup and a bowling attack which will be suited by the home conditions. They should progress through to a Semi Final by topping their Super 8 group and I think they can go one step better than their 2010 performance and reach the Final.
South Africa – South Africa have spent the summer in England advertising their claims as the world’s top cricket side, and they can further their claims over the next three weeks with a run to at least a Semi Final berth. In a form of the game which focuses so much on batting ability, they have one of the best death bowlers in Dale Steyn, as well as a strong batting lineup with Smith, Amla, De Villiers and Duminy.