The 2018 T20 ICC Women’s World Cup to be played in the West Indies is set to commence from the 9th of November. Ten teams will vie for the championship. Eight teams qualified for the World Cup automatically via their rankings: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Windies. Bangladesh and Ireland qualified by ending up first and second respectively in the qualifier tournament.
The teams have been divided into two groups: Group A and Group B.
Group A: Windies, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh & Group B: Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Ireland.
The top 2 teams from each group will proceed into the semi-finals.
Let’s have a look at each of the teams set to participate in this carnival of cricket.
Captain: Stafanie Taylor
The hosts are also the defending champions having won the title in 2016. They whitewashed India in India in 2016. In 2017, they whitewashed Sri-Lanka comfortably at home in a 3-match series. But in 2018, they endured a 0-4 clean sweep by the Kiwis. Their chances of defending are 50-50 considering the competition in their group. Home support could prove to be a decisive factor.
Players to watch out for: Handy with the ball, Deandra Dottin also holds the record for the fastest T20 century, male or female. Skipper Stafanie Taylor has been averaging 46.75 with the bat since the 2016 World Cup.
Captain: Meg Lanning
The 3-time champions are always World Cup favorites. However they have had an up-down 2016-2018 season. They won the tri-nation tournament, also featuring India and England, earlier in March this year. It was a commendable away performance since the series was held in India. However in 2017 they suffered a shock defeat in the finals of the T20 leg of the Ashes series aided in part by shoddy fielding. They also lost the home-series to New Zealand in 2017. They should proceed to the semi-finals but can be knocked out due to the presence of India and New Zealand in their group.
Players to watch out for: Opener Beth Mooney who’s been in sparkling form. The ever reliable Megan Schutt can also be a handful on the bouncy Caribbean pitches.
Captain: Heather Knight
England, like Australia, are a strong team. They have had a successful showing in the T20Is since the 2016 World Cup. Apart from their defeat to Australia in the finals of the tri-nation tournament held this year, they have won all of their remaining T20 series. Their victories include the tri-nation tournament also involving New Zealand and South Africa, the T20 edition of the 2017 Ashes and a comfortable home win against Pakistan in 2016. They are strong favorites to proceed to the semi-finals.
Players to watch out for: Danielle Wyatt, whose moment of glory was arguably her swashbuckling century in the 3rd T20I of the 2017 Ashes which helped England level the overall series. Sarah Taylor is an absolute inspiration behind the stumps.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur
India have had a poor outing since the 2016 World Cup. While they won the Asia Cup in 2016, they suffered a shock defeat against Bangladesh in this year’s Asia Cup finals. They were whitewashed at home by the Windies in 2016. They also failed to reach the finals of the home tri-nation tournament this year. A silver lining was their 3-1 away series win over South Africa in 2018. Despite this, India will still be in strong contention to progress to the semi-final stage.
Players to watch out for: Smriti Mandhana, who has been one of the standout players in this year’s Kia Super League averaging 84.50.
Captain: Suzie Bates
As is their wont, New Zealand are the dark horses of the World Cup. Indeed their only blemish has been a defeat in the finals of the tri-nation tournament to England in 2018. They defeated Australia in Australia in 2017. They then whitewashed Pakistan in the UAE. They then proceeded to do the same to the Windies in 2018 at home. They also won the one-off T20 matches against Ireland and Pakistan.
Players to watch out for: Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite, both of whom have been shining at the 2018 Kia Super league.
Captain: Bismah Maroof
They failed to qualify for the Asia Cup finals this year. They beat Sri Lanka 2-1 away in 2018. They were whitewashed in the UAE in 2017 by the Kiwis. They lost to India in the finals of the 2016 Asia Cup. They suffered a 0-3 away whitewash by England in 2016. Their odds to reach the semi-finals appear slim.
Players to watch out for: Captain Bismah Maroof and batter Javeria Khan who were instrumental in the series victory over Sri Lanka.
Captain: Dane van Niekerk
They didn’t reach the finals of the 2018 tri-nation tournament also involving England and New Zealand. They had a clean sweep series victory over Bangladesh at home in 2018. They were beaten by India 1-3 at home in 2018. They also drew a 2-match T20 series with Ireland in 2016. Thus they will be in a strong tussle with the Windies to qualify for the next stage.
Players to watch out for: Middle order batter Mignon du Preez
Captain: Chamari Atapattu
Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the Asia Cup finals 2018 and 2016. They were beaten by Pakistan at home 1-2. Windies whitewashed them at home 3-0 in 2017. They lost a one-off T20I to Australia at home in 2016. They are largely expected to be eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup.
Players to watch out for: The all-rounder captain Chamari Atapattu
Captain: Salma Khatun
Bangladesh had a stunning run in the 2018 Asia Cup culminating in a thrilling victory over India in the finals. They won against Ireland 2-1 in Dublin in 2018. South Africa defeated them 3-0 at home in 2018. Ireland defeated them in 2016. While the Caribbean pitches may not suit spin, expect Bangladesh to cause an upset or two.
Players to watch out for: All-rounder Rumana Ahmed who led Bangladesh to victory in the Asia Cup finals.
Captain: Laura Delany
They lost to Bangladesh at home 1-2 in 2018. They were defeated in a one-off T-20I by New Zealand in 2018. They also lost a solitary T20I to Zimbabwe. They did defeat Bangladesh at home and drew 1-1 with South Africa at home in 2016. They do have the potential to cause an upset in their group.
Players to watch out for: Batter Clare Shillington who had a good T20 World Cup Qualifier.