The T20 extravaganza will hit the Caribbean soil as the Indian team locks horns against the Kiwis in the opener of World Cup. The two teams will be eyeing to start the tournament on high and take those all important points. Interestingly, it is the first standalone event of the tournament – unlike the previous editions where it had been a shadow of the men’s game.
The giant stride made by Women’s cricket in last few years has happily forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take this huge step towards building cricket for women. The first game which will be played at Guyana between India and New Zealand will once again be an opportunity for populous to ‘belief’.
To everyone’s surprise, the streets have already started to blare horns, fans are literally on their feet, and the excitement to witness Women’s T20 World Cup is at the highest echelon. On one hand, the Indian team is a pure contender in the eyes of ‘cricket-pundits’, and on the other, the Kiwis will look to continue their dominance against India in the shortest format.
Only in 2017, the Indian team had a scintillating stint, managing to enter 50-over World Cup final after 12 long years. This performance on the English soil has made Indian fans watch promising players closely, who time and again are doing a superlative job to keep that ‘trust’ going.
With less than 24 hours, for the start of the sixth edition of T20 World Cup, ‘Female Cricket’ brings to you the players to watch out for and the team combination for the first encounter:
Players to watch to for
Amelia Kerr (New Zealand)
Amelia’s leg break burst has pegged back the opposition on a number of occasions. The Right-arm leg break bowler uses her wrist to good effect extracting spin even on docile tracks. Line and Length being her forte, Kerr will be looking to lead the bowling attack from the front and utilize all her experience to bother India’s batting order.
Smriti Mandhana (India)
The left-handed batswoman has not only been able to ignite hope in India’s camp but has also been the pillar of India’s batting order. She announced herself after scoring back to back hundred in the World Cup last year and has been able to continue the dream run in the following series played so far. Her ability to score at an astonishing strike-rate and bat consistently in this format has made her different from others.
Bates opened the batting with Anna Peterson in the absence of Sophie Devine. With Sophie back in the squad, it would be interesting to see who opens the innings now. The stabilizer skipper Satterthwaite who has her own repertoire is expected to deliver for her team once again and will take all important number 3 spot, followed by the wicket-keeper batswoman at number 4. Maddy Green, Hayley Jensen, and Bernadine need to make the build foundation into a mammoth score.
Kiwis’ experienced bowling unit seemed capable of dislodging the opposition batting lineup in the Practice games played on the Carribean soil and will look forward to play with the same set of players to do the job.
It is unlikely that India will tinker with their opening combination as Mandhana will be accompanied by experienced Mithali Raj. Rodrigues will certainly bat at number 3, followed by the wicket-keeper batswoman Taniya Bhatia and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. With Veda and Deepti Sharma occupying lower middle order spots.
India’s bowling unit has been on song thus far in the practice games. However, the team is likely to miss their most experienced bowler Jhulan Goswami, who recently retired from the shortest form. It will be interesting to see how Indian bowling unit manages to showcase their skills in absence on Goswami on the biggest stage.
New Zealand – 4