T20 World Cup 2016 Betting Preview

South Africa (ew)Tournament Winner11/2Betfair
West Indies (ew)Tournament Winner12/1Betfred, Coral
Bangladesh (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Bet365

The world’s best cricketers are in India for the Twenty20 World Cup which runs from Tue 8th March until Sun 3rd April, with matches televised on SkySports 2.

Due to the manic format of the game upsets are possible, with the cricketing minnows shocking some big teams in the past at big prices. There have been five winners of the five previous tournaments, which highlights its unpredictability.

India, who host the tournament for the first time, are understandably favourites on their home patch. Recent form is strong having beating Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, but their T20 record at home is actually not that strong (5 wins from their last 11 matches), so the best odds of 9/4 with Sky Bet offer no appeal.

Which leads us to our first tip. South Africa are the World no.2 ranked Twenty20 team and crucially won both their T20 internationals in India before Christmas.

Alongside this they recently beat England 2-0 at home, and drew 1-1 in their latest series against Australia. Spin is going to be crucial, and leg spinner Imran Tahir is in fine form at the moment, whilst they also have powerful lower order batsman and two X Factor performers at the top of the order in Quinton De Cock and the genius of AB De Villiers. With this is mind, it is time for South Africa to put to bed their reputation for choking on the big stage, and claim their first major international trophy at best odds of 11/2 with Betfair.

It is tough to see why Australia are third favourites. Currently ranked 8th in the world, they have struggled for consistency for a few years now, with a win rate of around 45%, and in the 2014 World Cup they went out in the group stages with their lack of spinner a real issue then, which hasn’t really been resolved since.

England are an interesting team with a lot of young potential in their ranks, but this tournament will probably come too soon for them and their inexperienced bowling attack. They were given a little bit of a schooling by South Africa in their most recent match, and their lack of IPL experience will most likely cost them.

New Zealand also have some exciting players, but their form since the World Cup last year has been very inconsistent and without their talisman, the recently retired Brendon McCullum, a semi-final berth will most likely be as far as they go.

After these sides in the betting comes our second tip – the West Indies. Nine of the 15 players in their squad were part of the team that won in Sri Lanka 4 years ago and the majority of the team have played IPL cricket regularly over the last few years, so they are used to these conditions. The no. 3 ranked team in the world have some real ‘razzmatazz’ players who could light up the tournament.

Finally, those of you looking at the outsiders could do worse than considering Bangladesh, as their recent victories over Pakistan and Sri Lanka suggest that the odds of 40/1 offered by Bet365 might be a bit large for this improving team.

South Africa (ew)Tournament Winner11/2Betfair
West Indies (ew)Tournament Winner12/1Betfred, Coral
Bangladesh (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Bet365

Top Batsman

Sometimes it is easy to look for too much value though and you must not overlook favourite Virat Kohli in the Top Tournament Batsman market at 9/1 with Bet365.

Kohli was comfortably the top tournament runscorer two years ago in a losing cause, scoring 80 more than anyone else and averaging 106. With an average of 51 in Twenty20 cricket, and 4 fifties (alongside a 49) in his last 6 Twenty20 games, Kohli’s stats and recent form stand up to the closest scrutiny.

As the tournament is in India, it is wise to look for players that are successful last year in the IPL, and you can see synergies between the top players there, and at the top of the betting market at the World Cup. Australia’s David Warner scored more runs than anyone last year in the competition but we have concerns about where he will bat for Australia in the competition, with him having batted at 4 recently, which potentially could limit his time in the middle if 1,2 and 3 fire.

AB De Villiers (10/1 generally) is next in the betting, but although we fancy South Africa to do well, his international Twenty20 form is not too strong over the past 12 months, averaging only 25.10 in 10 innings, so despite his obvious class we are looking at one of this teammates at a larger price.

Faf Du Plessis is not the most eye catching player, but he accumulates well at number 3 and has averaged a very tasty 46 in the past 12 months in Twenty20 cricket, whilst also chipping in with near 400 runs in last year’s IPL. He comes into the tournament with a 79 off just 41 balls against Australia in his final warm up game and can be backed each-way at 33/1 (1/4 odds if he finishes in the top 4).

Virat Kohli (ew)Top Tournament Batsman9/1Bet365
Faf Du Plessis (ew)Top Tournament Batsman33/1Bet365, Paddy Power

Top Bowler

With the no. 1 Twenty20 bowler in the world, Sunil Narine, currently banned, the Top Bowler market is wide open, but it is the spinners at the top of the market, with the hosts’ Ravichandran Ashwin the 10/1 favourite with Paddy Power.

However, if you look at the IPL last year, it was the seamers who topped the wicket charts and again we’ll use that as a barometer for potential success at this event.

Dwayne Bravo and Lasingth Malinga were top of the charts in that tournament and we recommend backing Malinga at 22/1. If reigning champions Sri Lanka manage to get through the group stages, Malinga will be a big part of that and his guile and experience normally guarantees him a few wickets a game.

Our other pick for the tournament is West Indian Samuel Badree who can be backed at 33/1. Badree took 11 wickets in 2014 (one behind winner Imran Tahir, who himself can be backed at 14/1) and had an extremely good Big Bash recently.

Lasingth Malinga (ew)Top Tournament Bowler22/1Paddy Power
Samuel Badree (ew)Top Tournament Bowler33/1Coral