By Aidan Elder | Chief sports writer
Some people still say Test cricket is the best form of the game. Those people clearly haven’t paid 200-odd quid to spend four and half days looking at drizzle pouring out of a grey Nottingham sky.
Twenty20 is where it’s really at. It’s the most unpredictable format of the game and the T20 World Cup highlights that in all its wonderfully chaotic glory.
Sri Lanka hosts the fourth edition of the tournament and it’s going to be as brilliantly random as we’ve come to expect. In the three previous editions, we’ve had three different winners, five different winners and no host actually making it to the decider.
This year should be typically open. Most of the time there’s little more than a toss of a coin between the teams. Before a bouncer is bowled in anger, seven teams are 13/2 or shorter to win the tournament. That’s crazy, but all the more brilliant for it. Unless you hate excitement or love predictability it’s hard not to get excited by the events and there’s not many times you can say that about Afghanistan v England.
Here’s a look at how all twelve teams are shaping up for the Twenty20 World Cup in 20 words each.
Going well in T20s and ODIs. Ignore Tests. Dernbach, Hales, Morgan – good T20 specialists. Great chance to defend their title.
Prediction: Finalists at 10/3
Not as strong as before. But still always a threat. Beatable, but they are well accustomed to Sri Lanka conditions
Prediction: Beaten semi-finalists at 9/4
Improving. Tough draw. Probably won’t win a game, but would be happy if they gave the big boys a fright.
Prediction: Group stage exit at 1/100
Far from peak. Never that brilliant at T20 at the best of times. Will still be dogged and very Australian.
Prediction: Super 8 stage exit at 11/10
Dangerous opposition. Bowling can be a bit toothless against the top teams, but an experienced team can grind out performances.
Prediction: Group stage exit at 1/14
Preferred format of the game. Bit crap at others, but competitive in this. In form Gayle makes them a threat.
Prediction: Beaten semi-finalists at 5/2
Mixed results in T20 but always hard to beat. Excellent bowling attack, but may not be suited to Sri Lanka.
Prediction: Super 8 stage exit at 5/4
Strong first XI but can be inconsistent. Home advantage is helpful but not decisive. Have lost regularly at home recently.
Prediction: Super 8 stage exit at 6/5
Not as bad as odds of 150/1 suggest, but in a tough group, they’ve a Curtley Ambrose-thin chance of progress.
Prediction: Group stage exit at 1/12
Most dangerous of the minnows. Good chance in open group. More depth to batting than previously. Super Eights are possible.
Prediction: To qualify from their group at 6/4
High quality, experienced spine of the team makes them competitive. Have been erratic and are vulnerable if they don’t improve.
Prediction: Group stage exit at 3/1
Vastly experienced squad packed with powerful hitters. They may rely on Saeed Ajmal too much, but could still go far.
Prediction: Finalists at 11/4