The 7th edition of the Women’s World Cup is just 2 days away as India and Australia will start the tournament on 21st February to be played at Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney. It promises to be an exciting tournament with 10 teams taking part in it.
The 10 teams have been divided into two Groups. Group A comprised of defending Champions Australia, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. England, South Africa, runners up of 2018 edition West Indies, Sri Lanka and first time Thailand comprise of Group B. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.
The matches will be played at Manuka Oval, Canberra, Junction Oval, Melbourne, WACA Stadium, Perth and Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney. After the league stages, Sydney Cricket Ground will host the 2 semi-finals and the finals will be hosted on 8th March at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG.
Here we look at the top 5 contenders to lift the 2020 ICC Women’s World T20
Australia are the firm favorites to lift the title this time too. Under the captaincy of Meg Lanning, they won their fourth World Cup by beating England in the 2018 edition played in West Indies. Since the start of the tournament in 2009, Australia is the most successful team winning it 4 times.
They have a strong batting order comprising of Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Ellyse, Rachel Haynes, Perry, Gardner who can smash the opponents all over the park. Apart from good batters, Australia have a strong bowling unit which comprises of Megan Schutt, Ellyse Perry, Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Delissa Kimmince, Tayla Vlaeminck, Jess Jonassen. The Australian team gained confidence by winning the Tri-series defeating India by 11 runs. It is one of the strongest units in this tournament. The hosts would rely on Ellyse Perry to showcase her all-round skills to help retain the title.
Australia starts its tournament in the opening match of the tournament against India on 21st February 2020 at Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney. Going by the Group, the hosts should qualify for the knockout stage and probably win the title.
Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (vice-capt), Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Meg Lanning (capt), Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.
Under the captaincy of Heather Knight, the England Cricket Team will be looking to perform without their star players Sarah Taylor, Laura Marsh and Danielle Hazell, they have stuck for the same group of players.
In the 2018 edition of World T20 played in West Indies, England reached the finals losing to Australia. They won the inaugural edition of World T20 in 2009 beating England by six wickets. Since they have finished runners up in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
England starts its campaign against South Africa on 23rd February. In the batting department, they have England captain Danni Wyatt, Heather Knight, all-rounder Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson, Tammy Beaumont who can post big totals with their innovative stroke play.
In the bowling department, they have Anya Shurbsole, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn who can stop the run flow and pick wickets at regular intervals. England could reach the semi-finals stage if they can avoid any slip in Group which includes Thailand, South Africa, Pakistan, and West Indies.
Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wk), Heather Knight (capt), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole (vice-capt), Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt.
The Indian Women’s Cricket Team has won only two bilateral T20I series since the 2018 World Cup beating South Africa at home and West Indies away. Before the World T20, the Indian team were involved in a Tri-series involving Australia and England.
Their performance was not great as they won 2 games including chasing a mammoth total of 173 runs against Australia. Also, it included a collapse in the finals where India was in a comfortable position.
India reached the semi-finals stage on three occasions in 2009, 2010 and 2018. The top order looks strong with likes of Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur. In recent matches, the middle order has completely failed to deliver.
They have good quality spinners in the form of Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav who can control run flow and pick wickets at regular intervals. Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, and Pooja Vastrakar are the pacers included.
India will start their campaign against the defending champions Australia in the opening match to be played on 21st February. If their top order can fire and middle-order can give support, this time can create history.
Taniya Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh, Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav.
#4. New Zealand
New Zealand had a disappointing 2018 World T20 loss to India and Australia in the Group Stage. They are bolstered by experienced players like Sophie Devine who was the leading runs scorer in WBBL and Super Smash which would help the White Ferns.
In the first two editions during 2009 and 2010, White Ferns finished runners up. Since then they have under-performed losing in semi-finals (2012 and 2016) and knocked out in Group Stage (2014 and 2018).
They have top quality batting line up in the form of Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine Amelia Kerr, Katie Perkins, Racheal Priest who can destroy any opponent on their day. In the bowling department, they will return Lea Tahuhu an experienced fast bowler who can make use of fast bowling in Australian conditions. Also, they have young players like Leigh Kasperek, Katey Martin, Rosemary Mair who have performed in Kia Super League to showcase their skills on the big stage.
The White Ferns start their campaign on 22nd February at WACA Stadium, Perth against Sri Lanka. It will be a tough challenge for the Kiwis as they will face Australia, India in their next matches. With the number of players included in WBBL 2019/20, the White Ferns would be looking to take advantage of the conditions and improve their performances from 2018.
Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine (capt), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin (wk), Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest (wk), Lea Tahuhu.
#5. West Indies
West Indies have struggled off late with injuries losing the T20I series badly to India. They won their first World Cup in 2016 defeating the mighty Aussies. In the 2018 edition played in West Indies, they reached the semi-finals of the tournament losing to Australia.
They must rely on the experienced players which include Deandra Dottin, Stephanie Taylor, Hayley Mathews to help West Indies post big totals. In the bowling department, they have Dottin, Anisa Mohammed, Shamila Connell, Afy Flecther.
West Indies start their campaign against the first-timer Thailand on 22nd February at WACA Stadium. They will take on Pakistan, England, and South Africa in their three matches. Dottin and Taylor have the experience of playing in Australian conditions. If they can build as a unit, they can reach the semi-finals stage.
Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbell (wk), Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Lee-Ann Kirby, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed (vice-capt), Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor (capt).