Firm favourites: IPL champions Deccan Chargers are favourites for the Champions League Twenty20, with Adam Gilchrist one of their main threats
Cape Cobras (South Africa)
South Africa’s Twenty20 champions are a strong side with experience in the form of Herschelle Gibbs, Jean-Paul Duminy and Charl Langeveldt but the loss of Graeme Smith with injury will impact on their chances.
Deccan Chargers (India)
The IPL champions will be the tournament favourites with home advantage and four overseas players to call upon. Adam Gilchrist still has plenty to offer in Twenty20 cricket while for Andrew Symonds this is now his main mode of employment.
Delhi Daredevils (India)
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir make up the world’s best opening partnership at the moment and Dirk Nannes, the Australian fast bowler, has emerged as an unlikely star in Twenty20 cricket. Glenn McGrath was on Tuesday confirmed as Paul Collingwood’s replacement. Look out for Owais Shah too.
Diamond Eagles (South Africa)
The weaker of the two South African franchises and Sussex will look to beat them to advance to the second round. Short on big names but have won three domestic trophies over the past four years.
New South Wales Blues (Australia)
Seven members of their squad played a part during the recent Australia tour to England and outside of the Indian sides they are the next strongest team. Phillip Hughes certainly has something to prove and Brett Lee relishes playing in India.
Otago Volts (New Zealand)
Outsiders but with Brendon McCullum and England’s Dimitri Mascarenhas they have plenty of Twenty20 experience and skill. Hamish Rutherford, son of former New Zealand captain Ken, is a young player who could emerge during this tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (India)
No Kevin Pietersen but they probably don’t mind that — after his departure during this year’s IPL the team improved under Anil Kumble and reached the final. Jacques Kallis has turned himself into a good Twenty20 bowler while Ross Taylor and Mark Boucher provide strength in the middle overs.
Beaten Twenty20 Cup finalists, but thanks to the experience of Justin Langer and Marcus Trescothick, they probably have a better of chance of progression than Sussex. Peter Trego is one of the best Twenty20 players on the county circuit and James Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter have England credentials to prove.
The loss of Matt Prior (rested) and Murray Goodwin (ineligible) have hurt them deeply and left much resting on the powerful hitting of Luke Wright. Indian leg-spinner Piyush Chawla will be a key figure and Dwayne Smith is capable of match-winning contributions.
Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies)
At first glance the weakest of the teams but were too good for Middlesex at last year’s Stanford Challenge and the Bravo brothers, Dwayne and Darren, are capable performers. Left-arm leg spinner Dave Mohammed has a good Twenty20 record and captain Daren Ganga is probably the best skipper in West Indies cricket.
Victorian Bushrangers (Australia)
England know all about Cameron White’s ability with the bat while David Hussey and Brad Hodge are two of Twenty20 cricket’s better batsmen. The bowling is light and will be carried by Peter Siddle and Bryce McGain, a 37-year-old spinner mauled by the South Africans on his Test debut.
Wayamba Elevens (Sri Lanka)
A very strong side. Hammered Sussex in a warm-up match earlier this week and have a healthy smattering of Sri Lankan internationals including Mahela Jayawardene and Ajantha Mendis, while there is plenty of talk about young batting prospect Mahela Udawatte.
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