The seventh edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup will begin from February 21 with the fixture between Australia and India at the Sydney Showground Stadium. Ten participants of the tournament are divided into two groups.
Group A has Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. Let’s have a look at all the members and try to assess their performance in the upcoming mega tournament.
In six editions of the tournament Australia played final five times to claim the title four times. Moreover, they have lost only four matches since the 2018 World T20. These speak for the Aussie dominance and performance overall. No wonder the host team at home will be the most favourites in the tournament. They have a balanced team with strong hard hitting and matured batters, fearless all-rounders, and experienced bowlers. Australia can expect resistance from Indian and New Zealand but are stronger enough to come out as group toppers. They basically are all set to add another title with names like Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Alyssa Healey, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney on their side.
Key players: Alyssa Healey, Ellyse Perry
Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Alyssa Healy (wk), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
Bangladesh came to the main tournament through the Qualifiers and were outstanding throughout. None of the teams could score three figures against them. But they are sharing group with strong candidates like Australia, India, and New Zealand. While they have to constantly deal with the pressure of having some high-profile group members, Bangladesh have some hope left against the Sri Lankans. A good bowling attack is an advantage for Bangladesh but again, they mostly have exposure of the subcontinents. The batting department is not something one can boast of. So basically, Bangladesh have a lot to do if they want to excel in the tournament.
Key players: Fargana Hoque, Salma Khatun
Squad: Salma Khatun (c), Rumana Ahmed (vc), Shamima Sultana (wk), Jahanara Alam, Murshida Khatun, Ayasha Rahman, Nigar Sultana, Sanjida Islam, Khadija Tul Kubra, Panna Ghosh, Fargana Hoque, Nahida Akter, Fahima Khatun, Ritu Moni, Sobhana Mostary.
After a heartbreak in 2016, India Women showed their calibre in the 2018 edition and went on to beat every team in the group stage. But then they were defeated by England in the semi-final. This time too they have some impressive names to look up to. The top order has young Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigus, Harmanpreet Kaur while the middle order lack quality all-rounders. In the bowling department, Shikha Pandey is expected to do well in a pace friendly pitch but need support from others. The spinners are the assets of the team albeit. Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad have potential to change any match.
Key players: Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav
Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav.
New Zealand made to the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup twice but lost on both occasions. Like 2018, this time also the Kiwis are sharing the group with Australia and India. Australia are definitely the most potential candidates in this group but the all-rounders and world famous batters of New Zealand can give a tight fight on their day. Compared to the Aussies, Indians are lesser competitive opponents and New Zealand would not mind making the best of the fixture. New Zealand are playing the tournament without their full time skipper Amy Satterthwaite who is unavailable for maternity leave. The players like Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Leigh Kasperek, and Lea Tahuhu will have the major responsibility of taking the team to the next stage.
Key players: Sophie Devine, Amelia Kerr
Squad: Sophie Devine (c), Rachel Priest (wk), Suzie Bates, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Lea Tahuhu.
Sri Lanka Women never made it to the knockout stages of the World T20 till date. This year in all probability will see the same ending because of at least three stronger members. Moreover, their past records are not at all impressive and so it is tough to expect any upset from them. While against Australia, England, and New Zealand they are yet to win any single fixture, against India, South Africa, and West Indies the statistics are heart breaking. A win against Bangladesh is all they can be assured of but even that match is scheduled at the end. The experienced players like Chamari Athapaththu and Shashikala Siriwardene are the key members.
Key players: Chamari Atapattu, Shashikala Siriwardene
Squad: Chamari Athapaththu (c), Harshitha Madavi (vc), Dilani Manodara (wk), Anushka Sanjeewani (wk), Kavisha Dilhari, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Sathya Sandeepani, Nilakshi de Silva, Shashikala Siriwardene, Umesha Thimashini.
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