The women’s world cup 2017 which is set to begin in July has selected it’s teams through different competitions. The England team were selected through the ICC Women’s Championship along with the Champions West Indies, New Zealand and Australia. The English players also have the luxury of home advantage. Whereas teams like India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan made it through the ICC Qualifies in Colombo.
Here’s a look at what the teams have in store for us.
Although many had been disappointed when learned that India will not get an automatic place in the World Cup, the qualifiers turned out to be a stunning experience for the team and the fans. Indian women remained unbeaten in the entire series. The qualifiers even witnessed a thrilling final between India and South Africa where India needed 8 runs off 2 balls and Harmanpreet Kaur made sure that her’s is the team that holds the qualifier cup. India has won over 13 ODIs in a row, containing of star player Mithali Raj, who holds the 3rd rank among ODI batswoman has been an outstanding captain leading from the front and has been consistent with her bat over the last few months. Jhulan Goswami who is the back bone of Indian pace attack, apart from her performance with the bat as well, is currently ranked 3rd among ODI bowlers. Spinners like left arm unorthodox Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who was the fourth best bowler in the Championship and Ekta Bisht too play an important role. But the key players like Harmanpreet, Jhulan Goswami and Smriti Mandhana are currently in rehab for injuries and are doubtful for the quadrangular series. This quadrangular series in South Africa is seen as a good preparation for the girls before the World Cup.
With stars like Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Jess Jonassen and Alysa Healy, Australia sure is a strong side. Meg Lanning, who recently received the Belinda Clark award, has not only been in the top form but also had topped the charts in the Championship, scoring 1232 in 21 games with an average of 72.47. She was the only woman to have scored above 1000 runs in the championship followed by Ellyse Perry with 985 and 23 wickets. Alysa Healy, someone who can make the batswomen go weak in the knees with her wicket-keeping skills, is too an important part of the team, although she hasn’t been very impressive with the bat in the past, she is preffered in the Australian side for her keeping skills. Jen Jonassen, Australia’s spinner all-rounder, had been the highest wicket taker in the championship with 31 wickets at 19.09. Australia’s first match will be against the ICC Champions West Indies on July 26.
England, the runner up of the Championship have the luxury of home advantage for the world cup. England will have to face India in the World Cup opener on July 24. Charlotte Edwards former captain announced her retirement in May 2016 after which all-rounder Heather knight took over the job. Heather Knight has proved to be a good captain after the ECB witnessed her and the teams terrific performance in the home series against Pakistan. Knight scored 642 runs and took 29 wickets. Openers Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont scored maiden ODI centuries in a stand of 235 and Natalie Sciver struck six sixes scoring 80 off 33 balls. Anya Shrubosole and Katherine Brunt took 44 wickets among themselves. While Anya Shrubosole took 4-19 as Pakistan were bowled out for 166 in the 48th over.
Pakistan assured a place in the World Cup even after being crushed by India by seven wickets in the qualifier in Colombo. Captain and bowler Sana Mir is currently ranked 6th among the ODI bowlers and has been impressive in the past. She also scored over a 1000 runs and reached 100 wickets in the qualifier. All rounders Javeria Khan impressed everyone when she topped the batting charts with a total of 299 runs. Left arm unorthodox spinner, Nashra Sandhi was the highest wicket taker with 17 wickets to her name with an economy of 11.05. Pakistan finished fourth in the qualifiers after the defeat by Sri Lanka. Many key players of Pakistan too were injured but are assured of having a fit team right from the first match of the World cup.
The reigning ICC champions West Indies have us all expecting so much. Captain Stephanie Taylor was named as the captain of the first ever ICC women’s team of the year. Off spinner Anisa Mohammed is the best bowler of the team and was the highest wicket taker in the championship with 27 wickets at 21.51. Deandra Dottin, an aggressive batter who is know for her 112 off 45 balls at a gigantic strike rate of 248.88 is a key player for the Windies. Players like Hayley Matthews, Sarah Taylor and Britany Cooper were also key players in the ICC T20 World Cup. West Indies will face Australia in its opening match on July 26.
Sri Lanka impressed everyone with the way they played in the qualifiers in Colombo with 5 out of 7 wins to their name. Their star player Shashikala Siriwardene was greatly missed in the qualifiers as she was injured, but Sri Lanka even in her absence managed to book themselves a place in the World Cup. Sri Lanka’s first match will be against New Zealand on June 24. Sri Lanka’s backbone in the qualifiers was its batting line up with talents like Chamari Athapaththu and Nipuni Harsika. Captain and Left arm Orthodox spinner Inoka Ranaweera and Inoshi Fernando made a good spinning pair and took 18 wickets among them.
New Zealand have some of the best of the players. Suzie Bates, one of the best all rounders in the dugout is impressive with the bat and the ball as well. She was the highest run scorer 978 and took 17 wickets, contributing largely as New Zealand finished 3rd on the Championship leader board. Bates recently received the ICC ODI and T20 player of the year all cause of the consistency that she has shown. New Zealand also has batswoman Amy Satterwaite who too has been very consistent with the bat in ODIs, she recently became only the second cricketer after Kumar Sangakara to score 4 consecutive ODI 100. Batswoman Sophie Devine had been consistent in the WBBL but is currently injured. Leigh Kaserperk has also joined the injured club and the Kiwis will sure be hoping that these two will recover in time to play for the opening match against the Sri Lankans.
South Africa sure do have an impressive bowling line up with Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt in the top of the bowling order. The pace trio Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kappand Ayabonga Khaka is one of the best in the world. Backed by the leg spinners Dane Van Nierkerk and captain Sune Luus who was also named the player of the series in the Qualifiers. With a balanced bowling attack and a deep batting line up South Africa over the years has produced an attractive brand of cricket. South Africa earned a place in the world cup after finishing second in the Qualifiers in Colombo. The quadrangular series involving India, Ireland and Zimbabwe gives them a good chance of preparation before the world and would even help them to decode their World Cup rivals India. South Africa’s opening match in the ICC Women’s world cup will be against Pakistan at Grace road on June 26.