Tuesday 11 March 2014 

'Pakistan Have The Most Match-Winners'

Umar Gul celebrates
The return of Umar Gul could be a huge boost for Pakistan
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Jack Vittles says that Pakistan contain the most match-winners in their ICC World Twenty20 2014 squad and that is why he makes them his favourites to win in Bangladesh.

Winners

With T20 being so unpredictable it’s hard to determine who could be considered the favourites, but form plays a big part in the shortest format of the game, so for me the favourites at the moment are Pakistan. 

They’ve just come of the back of a successful Asia Cup, finishing runners-up to Sri Lanka, and the form of Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi in particular gives them a good shot at the title.

I always like to look at the number of match-winners in a side when talking about T20, and for me Pakistan contain the most in the tournament.

In addition to Afridi and Ajmal, any one of Mohammed Hafeez, Umar Akmal or Umar Gul are capable of single-handedly winning a match.

Conditions will also play into their hands, having played their recently and having a number of players who are very much at home on low, slow sub-continental pitches.

Dark Horses

I think the dark horses of the competition may well be New Zealand. Often touted as having an outside chance at the 50 Over World Cup, New Zealand’s recent form in all formats has been good and they have unearthed a world class all -rounder in Corey Anderson.

If Anderson can fire alongside Ross Taylor and skipper Brendon McCullum then the Black Caps batting looks capable of taking on any attack. It will all depend if the bowlers can back them up.

To Qualify

It’s hard to look past Ireland who have completely and utterly dominated the Associate game over the past three years in all formats. They have numerous county players as well as experienced international performers and will be confident of progressing into the tournament proper.

Their only downfall could be the unfamiliar conditions and Hong Kong may be looking to spring a surprise, with their star performer being 42-year-old left arm spinner Munir Dar who took 17 wickets at an average of 13.05 during qualifying.

Players to Watch

It’s hard to pick just one possible player of the tournament, but I expect big performances from Gayle, Afridi, McCullum, De Villiers, Ajmal and Johnson during the competition.

You can view what the rest of the Cricket World team think by clicking here or you can let us know your predictions by leaving a comment below or usign social media to get in touch. Tweet us @Cricket_World.

© Cricket World 2014