Straight to the points
Title hopefuls must quickly find fast track to victory...
Last Updated: September 18, 2012 1:40pm
It's short, sharp and every game counts.
Welcome to this year's ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka - one tournament you won't want to miss. Check out our coverage details by clicking here.
As part of the build-up Mike Atherton and Nick Knight answered your questions on Twitter - then turned their attention to each of the four groups, focusing on some of the players who might grab a share of the limelight in the coming weeks...
Check out their views then select your 'player to watch' by filling out the feedback form below...
England: Alex Hales
ATHERS: He made 50 against Australia and 99 against the West Indies earlier in the summer so he's likely to get the nod over Michael Lumb. The one thing Hales hasn't got - unlike Kevin Pietersen, for example - is lots of experience in sub-continental conditions. I'm a fan of Hales - I think he's a terrific cricketer. As much as his stroke-play and power, what's always struck me from the very first time that I watched him is that he's quite street-smart in the way that he constructs an innings.
India: Virat Kohli
ATHERS: He is the form horse, particularly this year when he's come of age. I think he's got seven international hundreds throughout the year and is averaging over 60 in all forms of the game. He is a terrific player who seems to relish the battle as well; you haven't been able to say that about every Indian cricketer in the past.
Afghanistan: Hamid Hassan
ATHERS: You can't discount any of these teams on their day in 20-over country - and that includes Afghanistan. Their story is a fantastic one. Cricket started in the shadows of a refugee camp up there in Northern Afghanistan and just a few years ago they were playing in Division Five against the likes of Jersey and Japan.
Ireland: Kevin O'Brien
NICK: He's put in match-winning performances before - his challenge is can he do it again on the biggest stage? Very rarely do we see him play an innings like the one he produced in that victory over England at last year's World Cup. But, of course, he has the ability to do it. If Ireland are going to perform well and win a game, then he is probably going to have to have his day. But I do like Ireland in general - William Porterfield is an excellent captain who leads the troops well.
West Indies: Sunil Narine
NICK: He's back in familiar and comfortable surroundings - in terms of the nature of the game (Twnety20) and sub-continent conditions. He's got the doosra - the one that goes the other way and he's relatively new to international cricket so a lot of batsmen won't necessarily have faced him before this tournament, which will add to his potency. We're expecting big things from him.
Australia: David Warner
NICK: You get the feeling with him that he's grown up a little bit with Twenty20 cricket and that he feels very comfortable in this environment. He's strong on the off-side and the leg-side - he's a very powerful all-round player. They'll be looking very much at him and Shane Watson to get the top order going and they'll need to go well. He missed out in the warm-up game against England but I'm sure he won't miss out throughout the tournament.
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan
NICK: He's the one player you could say adds a bit of power to the side. They've got a lot of classy players in the top order - Jayawardene, Sangakkara - but this man has got a little bit more belligerence. He muscles the ball to the boundary. If they are to get off to a flying start, you'd say he's going to have to be the man to really kick it on. I think Sri Lanka are a good side and they won't be fazed by the fact that they are the hosts, but I don't think they're going to be quite as good as Pakistan or the West Indies.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor
NICK: He's bring a little bit of power to the batting. He's been around for quite some time now - we've seen him play over the years and he seems to be getting better and better. His strike-rate is 121 so he can whack them out of the park but there is a bit of invention, a bit of craft about him too. He'll need to be at his best in this tournament because Zimbabwe will struggle to get through the group. Hamilton Masakadza is 13th in the batting rankings and Prosper Utseya is 17th in the bowling rankings, so they've got a few players but they'll need to be at their best.
South Africa: Richard Levy
ATHERS: He was an unknown when he hit 117 off 51 balls against New Zealand earlier this year; it was a very eye-catching knock - but people have seen him now and they know his strength is all through the leg-side. If you watch his arc it's between wide long-on and square leg. Everything is going over there and people know that now so you'd think they'd come up with some plans to counter that. If he gets in and he gets going he's a very dangerous player but I suspect opposition teams might work him out.
Pakistan: Saeed Ajmal
NICK: He's brilliant - he's got all of the variations that he needs; he holds his nerve when he needs to most. Last winter he had England tied up in knots. So much so that Kevin Pietersen said at the end of the series, even though he'd got a couple of hundreds, that he still couldn't pick him. He's bound to cause problems. I think Ajmal and Umar Gul work a good combination - in the games that we've seen them play they tend to hold them back for the last few overs when the pressure is really on. On paper, I think the Pakistan squad is the best in the competition.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum
NICK: You get the feeling that if New Zealand are to have any semblance of a chance, this fella's got to tee off and tee off brilliantly throughout the tournament. He plays a lot of IPL cricket so he knows conditions well. Every time you tune in and watch New Zealand play, you hope this lad gets it right to give his side half-a-chance. His strike-rate of 132.75 puts him in the top echelon.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal
ATHERS: Our view of him is slightly coloured by the fact that he does well against England when we see him. He's got fantastic shots and is a very, very talented player but if you actually look at his record in 20 over cricket his strike-rate is 100. Craig Kieswetter's is 115.13 and we were saying that wasn't good enough, so the fact that Tamim's is lower suggests that he's got some way to go - talented though he may be.