With the ICC Women’s World T20 just a stone’s throw away, there is a lot of excitement and at the same time anxiety among the 10 camps participating in the grand tournament.
The squads are announced and the practice matches begin from February 15, when India takes on arch-rivals Pakistan at Brisbane.
Prior to the start of the World Cup, we look to identify the potential strengths and weaknesses of each and every team.
First, we look at India. The 15-member squad of India is as follows: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav.
The average age of the players is 23, which emphasizes that the team is relatively young. However, with the likes of senior players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Shikha Pandey and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, the team is able to achieve a perfect blend between youth and experience.
Now, let us delve into the potential strengths and weaknesses of the Women in Blue.
In recent times, India’s batting has fired, thanks to southpaw Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues. If India has to put up a good score on board or chase down a formidable target a lot will depend on the top four that includes 16-year-old Shafali Verma and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in the ranks.
From the bowling perspective, the Indian bowling is dominated by spinners. It has a mix of right-arm and left-arm spinners in the arsenal. Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav are the right arm off-spinner and leg spinner respectively, while Radha Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad are slow left-arm bowlers. Someone like a Harmanpreet Kaur can be more than handy with her off spins as well. For India to do well, they would expect the spinners to spin a web to trap the opposition. Click To Tweet
With respect to fielding, a young Indian outfit will help the cause. The team boasts of Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana who have a strong throwing arm and are unequivocally the best boundary riders in the team.
The Indian middle-order is a weakling as it has always been overshadowed by the top order who is guilty of not giving many opportunities to the no.5, 6 and 7. With not much game time, the middle-order seems to be out of sorts in a pressure situation. Veda Krishnamurthy and Deepti Sharma need to step up to ensure that there is no batting collapse.
The pace battery of India needs to be fully charged to give good support to the spinners. Shikha Pandey will have to lead from the front since there will be no Jhulan Goswami this time around to shoulder the responsibility. Pooja Vastrakar, who has raw pace will need to hit the right lines and lengths to cramp the batters.
India’s performance in World T20 so far
India’s record in the World T20 since its inception in 2009 suggests that the team has a mixed bag of performances. The Women in Blue were the semi-finalists in three out of six occasions while exited from the group stage in the remaining three. It is interesting to note that when the World Cup was played on Asian soil, India could not make it to the semi-finals, while in foreign conditions, India excelled.
Year Host Performance/Result
|2012||Sri Lanka||Group Stage|
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.