The only thing that is keeping the ICC World Cup Qualifiers away from us are the days left in between because female cricket fans and the announced squad seem all ready for the matches that stack in line before them. The much awaited Qualifiers will commence from the 7th of this month and all the teams have already been braced up for it. It will go until the 21st of February and will denote the final stage of the qualification process for the big cup that is looked up to. The tournament will be the fourth edition of the World Cup Qualifier and the first to be held in Sri Lanka. So this is how the scenario for Group A looks like.
Group A consists of India, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zimbabwe but since Ireland qualifies automatically along with Bangladesh due to their ODI status only the remaining four will face the heat under the stress of the qualification process. India has been in the Bottom 4 of the ICC Women’s Championship so far and so has Sri Lanka. Thailand is the Asian regional qualifier and Zimbabwe is the African one. After an overall evaluation of matches played, win record and high ranking team India is looked up as the most fancied team as compared to the others in Group A. Three teams have to pass out to make it to the Super Six stage from the above and the way doesn’t seem quite difficult. I’d love to add that the captain Mithali raj seems less worried about their performance against the other teams in the group.
Our team is blessed with experienced players as well as new talents though I would love to include my personal pick from all as the players I think can totally exhibit great performance and give their team an edge over the rivals. Harmanpreet Kaur, the 10th ranked from the ICC Women’s Rankings for ODI Batters is my choice. Having an average of 35.57 at an ODI her performances at the T20s and ODIs in the past have been spoken about. Given the captaincy now, we have changed strategies which could benefit the team.
The other perfect fit for a bowler is the left-spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad who has also been ranked the 10th in the ICC Women’s Rankings for ODI Bowlers. What is worth applauding is that she had finished with 25 wickets in the Championship.
India having a great balance at both sides with experienced batters and spin-bowlers is set to have an advantage over the others at the Qualifiers. Hope isn’t a word when confidence has your side. Things will unfold at the Qualifiers.