West Indies fancied for world crown as ICC pitch supervisor jets in
West Indies' defeat of India in the World Twenty20 semi-final before a shaken crowd in Mumbai has left them narrow favourites with bet365.com to overcome England in the final in Kolkata on Sunday.
West Indies, victors against India with two balls to spare, surmounted the early loss of Chris Gayle to chase down a target of 193 with Lendl Simmons silencing a Mumbai crowd on a ground where he plays his IPL cricket.
Their ability to win without a heavy contribution from Gayle was a reminder of West Indies' dangerous shot-making right down the order, leading bet365.com to make them 5/6F with England 21/20.
But England can match India's batting depth and in Joe Rott, Jos Buttler and Jason Roy they have three of the highest run-makers in the tournament.
Both sides go into the final with one defeat to their name. West Indies beat England by six wickets in the opening game thanks to Gayle's 47-ball hundred, but Afghanistan, who had to go through the qualifying tournament, proved that they are beatable with a six-run win in Nagpur.
Much speculation has already surrounded the pitch for the final. Andy Atkinson, chief of ICC's grounds and pitches committee, arrived at Eden Gardens on Tuesday, several days earlier than expected, with reports that he had rejected the pitch originally scheduled for use - also used for the Pakistan v Bangladesh group match - by the chief curator Sujan Mukherjee.