I’ve already looked at the three World Cup favourites in India, England and Australia. The conclusion? Across the three they have serious issues with the selection of their players, absences due to injury or captains who may not be the right men for the job.
In other words, I’m not saying they can’t win the World Cup. Of course, they can. They’re the favourites to win. But as explained, all three are poor choices for T20 World Cup betting due to the odds.
I’d much prefer to be backing these two. Significantly, they’re at much bigger odds!
Back the West Indies to win T20 World Cup
They are the only side to have won two T20 World Cups, and online cricket betting sites have them as fourth favourites. Betway has them at 7.0 to win. If you’re interested, you can check out our full analysis of the West Indies T20 World Cup team to get our expert opinion on the whole squad.
So, why do I believe they can win for the third time? Let’s find out!
Bet India’s suggested West Indies XI: Simmons, Lewis, Pooran, Hetmyer, Pollard, Russell, Bravo, Allen, Walsh, Rampaul, McCoy.
Unpopular opinion: IPL betting isn’t the be-all and end-all. There are other T20 tournaments that deserve plenty of respect, too. But one can’t deny that when it comes to the tournament with the best T20 players on show, it’s all about the IPL. And it’s not so easy for overseas players to consistently feature in the IPL.
But take a look at that XI. Only Simmons, Walsh, Rampaul and Mccoy don’t have an IPL team. Not only do all the others do but they’re not just squad members; they always play and in many cases are integral to their team’s fortunes.
Pollard is a Mumbai legend, Bravo a CSK stalwart, Russell is KKR’s big saviour. I could go on. The point is all that big-match experience, especially in the UAE, will be essential.
Windies have big-hitters
There are many ways to compile an innings as a team but the best way in T20 is to hit lots of sixes. The Windies are packed with natural six-hitters. Every single player in that Top 8 is a natural six-hitter who thinks nothing of going for maximums, whatever the state of the game.
Perhaps only the English World Cup team can compete with the Windies in this regard. The point is that with ah ability to score so quickly, particularly at the death, they can always post a big score eventually.
And in a chase they’re never out of it for the same reason. Just look at how they won that semi (against India) and final (against England) at the last World Cup
Blessed with all-rounders
In Pollard, Russell, Bravo and Allen the Windies have four genuine all-rounders. Add the trio of frontline bowlers to the equation- possibly Walsh, McCoy and Rampaul- to the equation, and you have seven bowling options.
And those four all-rounders are hardly just part-time bowlers. No one has taken more T20 wickets at domestic level than Bravo, with 550; he’s 130 clear of Imran Tahir in second place.
Pollard (300) and Russell (340) are ranked 10th and 11th for most domestic T20 wickets.
The other point is that they’re all somewhat different bowlers. Bravo and Pollard are (admittedly) a bit similar with their use of slower balls and off-cutters that are hard to get away, while Russell can really crank it up in terms of speed and is no stranger to bowling short if needed. He can also bowl full and straight at speed on his day. Allen is a slow left-arm orthodox bowler.
What this means is that Pollard has lots of options with the ball. If it’s not a surface for spin he may decide to not bowl Allen at all. If it’s a case of taking pace off the ball he may bowl himself and Bravo instead of his frontline quicks.
And with the bat? Bravo doesn’t play too many innings of note these days and Allen generally bats at eight. But they both have sky-high strike rates, especially Allen.
And Pollard and Russell are two of the best finishers in the game. So because they can play these four all-rounders, they have lots of bowling options, while having a very long and powerful batting line-up, as well.
At the same odds as the Windies, you can also back New Zealand to win the T20 World Cup at Betway. They’ve never made a final in this competition (only two semis) so their pedigree isn’t great.
But at the 2019 World Cup (in ODI format) they showed us how they can perform to a higher level than what you’d think. No side will ever come closer to winning a World Cup (but losing it) than they did. Make sure you check out our in-depth New Zealand World Cup team analysis for a full breakdown of how the squad is looking.
There are many dimensions to Williamson. The first is that he’s one of the game’s most likeable men, who plays the game in the right spirit.
The second is that he’s an absolute run machine. True, he’s primarily a Test player, then an ODI one and only then a T20 one. But there’s not much wrong with a 31 average in both domestic and international T20 and his strike rate of almost exactly 125 in both is healthy, if not explosive.
He has 52 fifties in T20 cricket so when he gets in, he tends to convert. Did I mention he’s one of the world’s best fielders?
Then there’s his captaincy. He marshals with calmness and a clear head. His players love him and he’s a quick thinker with bowling changes and field placements.
At the 2019 World Cup he was voted Player of the Tournament. And that was as much for his captaincy as his runs, as he was only the fourth-highest run scorer.
Spin could be king
When discussing the teams with the best spinners you’re normally thinking India, Pakistan, even Bangladesh. But New Zealand are very well-equipped this time, too.
Mitchell Santner is a very canny operator with his left-arm orthodox who goes at just over 7 an over. Ish Sodhi, a leg-break bowler, has a strike rate of 16 in T20Is.
Those two should work batsmen around and if they wish, they can play a third one in Todd Astle, also a leg-break bowler. He hasn’t played much international cricket but his domestic numbers are pretty good.
Most teams will tell you they enjoy playing together and some do. But few enjoy playing as a unit like the Black Caps. Once again, that has a lot to do with Williamson and the spirit he instils in the group.
That could be anything from sticking up for one of their own players on the field, to doing those really throws that sometimes result in run-outs. Or those extraordinary two-man catches on the boundary you see these days.
Pulling in the same direction is essential in any team sport and cricket is no exception. When you’re living in a Bio-Bubble for almost a month together, the importance of it could be even greater than normal.