Team Australia has dominated women’s cricket like no one and it is quite evident from their performance in the World T20 over the last six tournaments. The four-time champions, as well as the defending champions, would look to reign over the competition this year, as the tourney will be played in their own backyard.
The 15-member Australia squad is as follows: Meg Lanning (captain), Rachael Haynes, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wicket-keeper), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Australia’s performance over the years suggests that it is a side that is almost invincible, therefore, it will be interesting to look at its strengths that have brought Australia glory and also some weaknesses which if overcome can make the team even better.
The Australian batting is one of the best in the world as it has a perfect mix of balance and aggression. On one hand, you have the likes of skipper Meg Lanning, who can anchor the innings, while on the other you have, Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney and Rachael Haynes that can take the game away from the opposition in no time. These power hitters score at a strike rate of over 100 and are very destructive.
The Australian bowling led by Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt looks well-balanced. Tayla Vlaeminck who recently had a fantastic outing in the T20I tri-series will look to carry her form into the World Cup. Vlaeminck is the quickest of the lot and has the ability to hurry the batter. In the spin department, Jess Jonassen with her enormous experience is a parsimonious bowler and offers no freebies.
Additionally, the Aussies are blessed with a wonderful all-rounder in Ellyse Perry who is not a bits and pieces player, but a complete cricketer.
From the fielding standpoint, the Aussies are undoubtedly one of the best in the lot. Their fielding is nothing short of electrifying and can be intimidating to any opposition. With the home crowd supporting them, there will be more firepower in their groundwork.
Alyssa Healy’s form would be a concern for the Australians. Off late, Healy has not been able to get off to starts. Her role at the top of the order is very important as she is responsible for setting the foundation.
From the bowling standpoint, though they have talented bowlers in their ranks, there is little inexperience. Tayla Vlaeminck, Annabel Sutherland, and Sophie Molineux have just entered the Australian scheme of things and might take time to adjust to the international standards.
With respect to their fielding, there is seldom any weakness. The home crowd is like a double-edged sword; it can make you feel good, it can also put you under pressure. Let’s see how the Aussies tackle this since it is for the first time they will be hosting Women’s World T20.