DUBAI, UAE (CMC) — Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has tipped West Indies as favourites to win the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this year.
Watson said the Caribbean side possessed the balance and T20 experience to emerge top of the pack in the September 18 to October 7 showpiece.
"I actually think the West Indies are going to be the team to beat," said Watson.
"They have got a really well balanced team that has played a lot of high quality Twenty20 cricket around the world and they certainly know how to perform under pressure.
"I think they have got the firepower to give a lot of teams a big surprise."
Watson was at the helm of the Australia one-day side in March that had to come from behind to force a 2-2 verdict in the five-match series in the Caribbean.
West Indies played outstandingly to claw their way back into the series especially after losing the first game of a triple-header at Arnos Vale in St Vincent.
In the two-match T20 series, the home side lost the opening fixture but fought back gallantly to win the second, and tie the series.
Watson conceded Australia, despite reaching the final of the last T20 World Cup in the Caribbean, had not yet found their footing in the new format.
"It is a format in which we still haven't been able to play well consistently against other countries in the world," Watson said.
"We made the final in the last ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies and in the end we were pipped by England but since then we haven't played consistently well, so we are really going to have to step up our Twenty20 game.
With a change in players and the experience of playing in different Twenty20 leagues, it means hopefully we can step up when we really need to."
Despite Watson's confidence, West Indies have never reached the final of a T20 World Cup.
They never made it out of the group stage of the 2007 edition in South Africa, reached the semi-finals two years later in London and crashed out at the quarter-final stage when they played hosts two years ago.
They will play alongside Australia and Ireland in Group B of this year's tournament.