Australia all-rounder and vice-captain Shane Watson believes that the West Indies will be among the teams to beat at the ICC World Twenty20 later this year.
The West Indies reached the semi-finals in 2009 and failed to progress from the second group stage when they hosted the competition in 2010 but Watson expects them to be in the reckoning in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to ICC 360, he said: "I actually think the West Indies are going to be the team to beat. They have got a really well balanced team that has played a lot of high quality Twenty20 cricket around the world and they certainly know how to perform under pressure. I think they have got the firepower to give a lot of teams a big surprise."
Australia finished as runners-up to England in the Caribbean but Watson believes that his team are capable of going one better.
"It's a format in which we still haven't been able to play well consistently against other countries in the world. We made the final in the last ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies and in the end we were pipped by England but since then we haven’t played consistently well, so we are really going to have to step up our Twenty20 game. With a change in players and the experience of playing in different Twenty20 leagues, it means hopefully we can step up when we really need to."
Prior to that, Australia play a series of five One-Day Internationals against England and Watson is looking forward to the challenge.
"It is going to be a huge series. It is a great lead-in to next year’s Ashes and there is no doubt we have to be at our absolute best for that one-day series so our preparation is going to be very important, as is the way we perform. It is the first time for us with a slightly newer group of cricketers, a new coach Mickey Arthur and a new structure around us," he said.
© Cricket World 2012
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