Posted by Harry Kane on Saturday, October 16, 2021
2021 has seen a surfeit of sporting events, some of which had been previously postponed from 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
There’s plenty to come as well, with cricket fans particularly looking forward to the conclusion of the 2021 IPL Season before the latest iteration of the ICC T20 World Cup gets underway on October 17th in the UAE.
In this post, we’ll look ahead to this stellar international event, while appraising the current odds and the best value wagers.
The ICC T20 World Cup – An Introduction
Initially, the latest instalment of the T20 World Cup was initially scheduled for October and November in 2020, with Australia deigned as the original hosts.
However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Australia’s stringent lockdown measures forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to reconsider the event, initially postponing this until the autumn of 2021 (with India established as the new host nation).
However, India experienced a huge surfeit of Covid-19 cases amid the spread of the delta variant throughout the first half of this year, forcing the ICC to once again intervene and relocate the tournament to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Fortunately, this particular status quo has remained unchallenged, with the UAE and Oman expected to share hosting duties during the preliminary rounds of the tournament commencing on October 17th, with the final scheduled in Dubai on November 14th. This means that punters from all over the world can hop on their favourite betting sites and use some of the best casino bonuses to their advantage!
Who are the Key Contenders?
Despite no longer being the host nation and having recently been surpassed by England as the number one ranked T20 international team, Virat Kohli’s Indian side are the 5/2 favourites to prevail in the Middle East.
This has much to do with the depth and quality of the Indian squad, and their natural ability to compete in the dry and arid conditions of the UAE. Similarly, skipper Kohli is likely to provide international leadership throughout, especially with the iconic batsmen expected to step down as captain (at least in this format) in the immediate aftermath of the tournament.
Unsurprisingly, England are next in line at an average price of 7/2, despite the potentially challenging absence of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes. The rapid pace bowler Jofra Archer is also set to miss out with a chronic elbow injury, but fortunately, England boasts outstanding strength in depth and high-quality alternatives in the form of Mark Wood and Tymal Mills (amongst others).
The Three Lions also boast what is arguably the most aggressive and powerful batting order in the shorter format of the game, with big-hitters such as Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Hundred-star Liam Livingston expected to shine in the UAE.
Australia completes a trio a bookmaker’s favourites, with the Baggy Green priced at around 6/1 to prevail down under. The former hosts (who are now pencilled in to house the 2022 tournament iteration) certainly boast some talented T20 performers, although their recent form and preparation has been sketchy to say the least.
However, the side has been under-strength of late, but key performers, including skipper Aaron Finch, Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith have all been named in the World Cup squad. If you’re planning to bet on the event, you might want to read our guide to accumulator betting.
The Aussie squad also boasts a delicate balance of youth and experience, while the talismanic Glenn Maxwell could prove to be a potent match-winner with both bat and ball if he performs to his full potential.
Which Teams Offer the Best Value from a Bettor’s Perspective?
Australia arguably offers the best value to punters overall, especially with relatively lengthy odds of 6/1. Ante-post bettors should get their money on the Baggy Greens early though, as this price is likely to shorten ahead of the tournament.
Another potentially lucrative bet exists in the form of the West Indies, which are also priced at around 6 or 7/1 at present. You can use spread bets for this event. If you don’t know how to make such bets, you should read our beginner’s guide to spread betting.
Not only are the Windies the defending champions and renowned for their resilient performances in the shortest format of the game, but they also boast some of the best T20 players with both bat and ball in the world.
Captained by Keiron Pollard, the squad also includes Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis and Roston Chase, while the brilliant IPL star Andre Russell and tricky leg-spinner Fabian Allen also add unique and fascinating dimensions to a highly talented group of players.
The explosive veteran Chris Gayle has also been named in the final 15-man squad, while a reserve list that includes Darren Bravo, test skipper Jason Holder and left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell is also indicative of a squad with genuine strength in depth.
Elsewhere, World Test Champions New Zealand also offer genuine value at around 7/1, with the spin duo of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi likely to be highly effective in the dry and arid conditions of the UAE.
With captain Kane Williamson also anchoring the top order and explosive batsman Glenn Phillips offering some big-hitting lower down, New Zealand could be well-placed to go deep into the tournament and reinforce their reputation as one of the best short-format teams in the world. If you’d like to bet on other exciting sports games, it might be a great idea to check our eSports betting guide for beginners.
The Last Word
If you don’t fancy placing an ante-post wager on the outright winner of the T20 World Cup, there are alternative markets that you could consider as a punter.
Individual match betting may also offer excellent value in some instances, especially with four of Ireland, Nambia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland scheduled to qualify for the Super 12 stage.
This could pit the leading nations against one or more of these sides, creating potentially one-sided matches in which one team is highly likely to win.
Of course, such a betting outcome will have particularly short odds, but you can negate this through so-called “handicap” wagering.
For example, if the favourites bat first and set a daunting target of around 220 for the minnows to chase, you can apply a handicap of –20.5 (or more) to effectively reduce the amount of runs that the underdogs are required to score for the bet to come in. You can see the betting odds for this championship from reputable gambling sites, such as Betvictor.
Depending on the nature of the particular match-up and the teams involved, this can help to enhance the odds in real-time without overly compromising your chances of winning