Having seen the teams from Group A and the various qualification scenarios for the semi finals, let us have a look at the Group B teams and how they line up. Group B features 3 time World champions and currently number 1 ranked T20 side Australia. Also, the secondly ranked T20 team New Zealand will also feature in this Group. World Cup finalists India along with arch rivals Pakistan are a part of this group. Ireland is the 5th team in the group and this will be their 3rd appearance in the ICC World T20 event.
Just like the other group, the fight for the top 2 teams who will feature in the semis will be closely contested between 3 sides – Australia, New Zealand and India. Pakistan and Ireland have not shown much promising performances in the recent past but will look to cause some upsets in the tournament and might as well make their way to the semis.
The Australian team clearly stands as the group favourites and their recent series win over Pakistan along with form of their key players also make them the tournament favourites. The team boasts of some big names in the format such as skipper Meg Lanning, Nicole Bolton, Rachel Haynes, wicketkeeper batswoman Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, number 1 ranked all-rounder Ellyse Perry and top seeded bowler Megan Schutt makes the Aussie outfit a clear favourites of the tournament.
Their close rivals New Zealand along with star studded Indian side will try to make their way to the semis making it a three headed contest for the top 2 spots. New Zealand team boasts of some big names. Currently ranked 1 T20 batswoman Suzie Bates, all-rounder Sophie Devine, skipper Amy Satterthwaite along with Hayley Jensen, Lea Tahuhu, Holly Huddlestone and others will make it difficult for other teams to get through to the top 2 in the group. The recent series against Australia did not go well where they were whitewashed by the Aussies. However, the team has enough capability and big names to take them through to the semis and even go on to win the tournament.
India on the other hand has tasted success recently where they bulldozed over the Lankans at their home winning the T20I series by 4-0. Skipper Harmanpreet has been in good form along with stars like Smriti Mandhana, legend Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, Poonam Yadav and others make this Indian outfit a formidable one and a force to reckon with. The very first contest of the tournament will feature the Indians taking on the Black Caps and will set the tone for the tournament. It is one of the most important fixtures of the group and a win will surely increase the chances of making it to the semis by heaps and bounds.
Coming to the 4th team of the group, which is Pakistan, their performances this year have been on and off. They won the T20 series against Bangladesh but were whitewashed by the Aussies. In this unpredictable format, they will have to upset some of the highly ranked and balanced sides to ensure they get through the knockout stage. The onus will be on experienced players like Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Sana Mir and Nahida Khan, Anam Amin and company.
The last team of the group are the minnows Ireland who has had a horrid time in the previous editions of the tournament. With an overall win percentage of only 28%, the qualification to the next round seems to be very difficult. But, they will surely cherish playing against some of the top players in the world and would love to gain as much experience as possible. In their last series against Bangladesh, the Irish lost 3-0 at home. A lot depends on the shoulders of skipper Laura Delany who has been a top performer for her side. She has to be supported by other known names such as Isobel and Cecilia Joyce, Gaby Lewis and company to stage an upset and maybe make it to the semi finals.
All in all, the next 3 weeks will have lot of fireworks and combine it with the colors and enthusiasm of the Carribean crowds and their recent love for T20 edition and Women’s cricket, the tournament is set to be a huge success. Hope all the teams have a great time and we get to see the best in the world competing well enough for us fans to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of this game. Can’t just wait for the tournament to begin!
Fixtures for the T20 Women’s World Cup:
Below mentioned timings are as per Indian Standard Time
Nov 9: India Women vs. New Zealand Women (Guyana) 11 AM
Nov 9: Pakistan Women vs. Australia Women (Guyana) 4 PM
Nov 9: West Indies Women vs. Qualifier 1 (Guyana) 8 PM
Nov 10: England Women vs. Sri Lanka Women (ST Lucia) 4 PM
Nov 11: Australia Women vs. Qualifier 2 (Guyana) 4 PM
Nov 11; India Women vs. Pakistan Women (Guyana) 11 AM
Nov 12; England Women vs. Qualifier 1 (ST Lucia) 4 PM
Nov 12: Sri Lanka Women Vs. South Africa Women (ST Lucia) 8 PM
Nov 13: Pakistan Women vs. Qualifier 2 (Guyana) 4 PM
Nov 13– Australia Women vs. New Zealand Women (Guyana) 8 PM
Nov 14: Sri Lanka Women vs. Qualifier 1 (ST Lucia) 4 PM
Nov 14: West Indies Women vs. South Africa Women (ST Lucia) 8 PM
Nov 15: Pakistan Women vs. New Zealand Women (Guyana) 4 PM
Nov 15: India Women vs. Qualifier 2 (Guyana) 11 AM
Nov 16: South Africa Women vs. England Women (ST Lucia) 4 PM
Nov 16: Sri Lanka Women vs. West Indies Women (ST Lucia) 8 PM
Nov 17: Qualifier 2 vs. New Zealand Women (Guyana) 4 PM
Nov 17: India Women vs. Australia Women (Guyana) 11 AM
Nov 18: South Africa Women vs. Qualifier 1 (ST Lucia) 8 PM
Nov 18: West Indies Women vs. England Women (ST Lucia) 4 PM
Nov 22: Semifinals 1 (Antigua)
Nov 22: Semifinals 2 (Antigua)
Nov 24: Finals (Antigua)