India the side to beat - poll
skysports.com readers expect host nation to lift the trophy
Last Updated: February 18, 2011 3:08pm
Dangerman: Harbhajan Singh
A third of skysports.com readers believe India will win the Cricket World Cup.
The tenth ICC tournament gets underway on Saturday when the joint hosts play Bangladesh in Dkaka, live on Sky Sports 1 and HD1.
The Group B match is the first of 42 live matches being played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh ahead of the final on April 2.
India, the 1983 champions, secured more than 31 per cent (2,800 votes) of the vote in our readers' poll with Pakistan, winners in 1992, earning 26 per cent of the vote.
Remarkably only seven per cent of readers believe Australia will win a fourth successive tournament after their victories in 1999, 2003 and 2007, while England secured 16 per cent of the vote.
Bookmaker Sky Bet have made India the 11/4 favourites in their Cricket World Cup betting odds to lift the trophy with co-hosts Sri Lanka 9/2 shots. Pakistan, winners in 1992, are 15/2 to win in Mumbai.
The online betting firm are also offering odds of 15/2 for India to meet Sri Lanka in the final, while an India v Australia showdown is 9/1. It's 11/1 for England to face India.
Sky Bet's Steve Bramley said: "India playing in the sub-continent are our worthy favourites and proving extremely popular with punters. They have a well-balanced side and a whole host of match-winners in Tendulkar, Sehwag, Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh to name a few.
"But you definitely can't rule out the likes of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and while Australia may be a shade of the side that won in the West Indies, they have a knack of peaking in when it comes to major one-day tournaments.
"There's a bit of patrotic support for England, who are 7/1, but after their gruelling winter in Australia it's hard to see them going all the way."