T20 World Cup predictions: Our experts select their winners and star players

Heinrich Klaasen smashes the ball for six
Heinrich Klaasen has the ability to hit sixes for fun - AFP/Indranil Mukherjee

The T20 World Cup gets underway on Saturday (early Sunday morning for UK viewers) but who will lift the trophy on June 29 in Barbados? Telegraph Sport’s cricket writers give their verdict on who will win and who will be the standout players...


Nick Hoult: South Africa. Strength in every department, and literally so with the bat. Left-arm pace, left-arm spin (which is vital), wrist spin and out-and-out speed, too. They have everything covered. But can they finally hold their nerve?

Tim Wigmore: West Indies might be the best value bet but Australia are the likeliest winners, combining power-packed batting and formidable bowling. Win, and they will hold the World Test Championship, ODI World Cup and T20 World Cup simultaneously.

Will Macpherson: It feels like there are five very serious options, not including dark horses (TM) New Zealand or Pakistan, which feels mad. I’ll go out on a limb and say South Africa (I know, I know). Their batting looks stacked and they’ve got lots of variety with the ball – time to shed the chokers’ tag.

Scyld Berry: West Indies. They always go up a gear when playing at home, the short boundaries will suit their batsmen more than anyone else and they will take some beating when they are inspired.

Player of the tournament

Nick Hoult: Heinrich Klaasen. England know about his awesome power from the 50-over World Cup. Klaasen hammers spin bowling – his strike rate was 181 in the recent Indian Premier League against spin – and that will be so important later in the tournament on West Indian pitches.

Tim Wigmore: For all the focus upon rising scores, Jasprit Bumrah’s mesmerising death bowling remains as devastating as ever.

Will Macpherson: Jofra Archer. England just look a better side as soon as he is back in. Would be amazing to see him get through injury free; if he does, England will be right in the mix. Lovely that he will play international cricket in Barbados for the first time, too.

Scyld Berry: Heinrich Klaasen. The leading exponent of the new technique of going back in the crease to spinners, yet so strong that he can muscle the ball straight – or anywhere else – for six.

Breakout star

Nick Hoult: Will Jacks. He has a bit of a strut now and batting at three he will have plenty of opportunities to signal a new era in the England white-ball team. Who knows, could he be the Test team bolter as a batman who can bowl spin?

Tim Wigmore: Aged 25, New Zealand’s explosive opener Finn Allen is ready to make the step up; a 62-ball 137 against Pakistan in January showed his clean striking.

Will Macpherson: Tricky, because these tournaments come round so soon that the cast is pretty similar to the last one. Let’s go Ottniel Baartman, who at 31 is not a classic breakout star. But he was brilliant in the SA20 as a death specialist and has beaten Lungi Ngidi to a place in South Africa’s squad.

Scyld Berry: England’s Phil Salt. He has done a lot of prep in the West Indies, starting with his youth in Barbados, then a breakthrough tour of the Caribbean last December. Opening is the place to be and he is brilliant at keeping or outfielding.

Phil Salt drives the ball for four
Phil Salt can make a real name for himself at the T20 World Cup - PA/Adam Davy

What you are most looking forward to...

Nick Hoult: Seeing West Indian grounds full in the evenings and cricket back on the map in the Caribbean. Even better if West Indies go a long way in the tournament. Forget the US. It is cricket in the West Indies that matters most.

Tim Wigmore: After the drawn-out ODI World Cup, regularly playing three matches a day will also provide the energy that other sporting World Cups possess. In a sport that has suffered from insular leadership since the 2007 ODI World Cup, which featured 16 teams, the inclusion of 20 nations will give the tournament a genuinely global feel.

Will Macpherson: The two hosts. It’s a cliche to say cricket needs a strong West Indies, but the culture of the game in the islands is a beautiful thing and that will hopefully be shown off this month, alongside a very strong Windies side. And the US – who knows? They have pulled off some brilliant results against Bangladesh recently (even when not full strength) and the nation as a whole feels ready to be tapped by cricket. Let’s hope this tournament kick starts it.

Scyld Berry: The fielding, to the sides that can take the strain during all-out assaults. A couple of blinders could make the difference. Otherwise the totals are going to be the highest of any T20 World Cup so far.

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