In the Women’s World T20 that has already completed six editions, England met Australia thrice in the finals but unfortunately ended up being the runners-up. This year England would be looking to settle the scores and take home the trophy, which they have been able to do it just once in the very first edition that was played in 2009 in their own backyard.
The 15-member England squad that will be playing World T20 is as follows: Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kathryn Cross, Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wicket-keeper), Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Fran Wilson, Danielle Wyatt, Mady Villiers
So, what should England look to capitalize on? And, what should they possibly look to overcome? Let’s have a quick look at the strengths and weaknesses of the English team.
The English skipper Heather Knight will lead the batting from the front as she possesses enormous experience at the T20I level. Opening bat Danielle Wyatt is in tremendous form and will look to give a solid start to her team. With two T20I centuries to her name, Wyatt will make this World T20 count not only for herself but also for England.
With respect to bowling, Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt are the leaders of the pack. Their lethal pace bowling makes batting difficult for the opposition. No soon the pace duo is relieved by the skipper, slow left-arm bowler Sophie Ecclestone is ready to roll her arm over. Ecclestone has the reputation of being a wicket-taker and can change the course of the game in no time.
Additionally, England boasts of amazing all-rounders in Natalie Sciver, Heather Knight and Katherine Brunt that gives them an edge over others.
From the fielding perspective, the English girls are skilled and are known the hold on to their nerves in crunch situations. They are fast movers and make fielding look easy.
Though England has an established opening pair of Amy Jones and Danielle Wyatt, the concern for them would be their relatively low averages as openers. Jones and Wyatt average around 20. Wyatt, the senior partner should look to comfort Jones that will ultimately help England to set a strong foundation for the batters to follow.
From the bowling perspective, England will miss quality spinners in their ranks. Though they have the likes of Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn, with Heather Knight able to roll her arm occasionally, a spinner that can spin the web to trap the opposition will be missed. The question “What if Ecclestone fails” will have to be addressed.
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.
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.