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Sri Lanka and New Zealand are Arnold’s favourites to win WT20

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By Hilal Suhaib | March 13, 2014

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Russel Arnold believes Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup win tips the odds in their favour to win WT20. © Island Cricket

Russel Arnold has picked Sri Lanka and New Zealand as his top two sides most likely to win the ICC World Twenty20, which gets underway in Bangladesh on Saturday, but tips his native Sri Lanka over other teams to lift the trophy.

"I am going with Sri Lanka and New Zealand," Arnold told Island Cricket today. "I rate Sri Lanka highly, especially with them having spent the last two months in Bangladesh.

"Their success at the Asia Cup will boost their confidence, and what is most pleasing is that of late good performances have been from not just the seniors but the youngsters too.

"The side looks well-balanced."

The former Sri Lankan cricketer turned commentator believes that the number-one ranked T20 side Sri Lanka are better equipped to deal with conditions in Bangladesh.

[ Related: Sri Lanka not among Wasim Akram’s favourites to win WT20 ]

"Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake will make my playing XI, and the remaining two places can be decided based on the playing surface and team strategy," Arnold added.

"We then have Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne as extra batsmen and Seekkuge Prasanna and Nuwan Kulasekara to offer options with the ball."

Arnold picked mystery spinner Mendis and Mathews as the two players to watch out for in the Sri Lankan side.

Sri Lanka’s first match of the tournament is a warm-up match against India in Mirpur on March 17.

Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Lasith Malinga (vice-captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachithra Senanayake.

© Island Cricket

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