Women’s World T20: team-by-team guide to the ac­tion in West Indies

The Guardian Australia - - Front Page - Page 34

Group A

Eng­land

Cap­tain Heather Knight Coach Mark Robin­son WWT20 best Win­ner (2009)

It was the cor­re­spond­ing tour­na­ment of 2016 that in­spired the Mark Robin­son revo­lu­tion, in­sist­ing on a fit­ter side after an un­flat­ter­ing exit. Six­teen months later Heather Knight held the World Cup aloft at Lord’s. Since then, Eng­land’s T20 form has trended up­wards: they en­ter this cam­paign ranked third after ac­count­ing for New Zealand and South Africa in a sum­mer tri-se­ries and far­ing well against Aus­tralia in the for­mat over the past 12 months.

Key player Nat Sciver. It was on the big stage of the home World Cup the Sur­rey cap­tain an­nounced her­self. This time around, she is an in­te­gral se­nior player, built to in­flict max­i­mum dam­age.

Pre­dic­tion Drawn in the softer of the groups, they have ev­ery chance. South Africa

Cap­tain Dane van Niek­erk Coach Hil­ton Moreeng WWT20 best Semi­fi­nal (2014)

They have never been bet­ter placed to bust open a tour­na­ment but have sel­dom dis­played the nec­es­sary con­sis­tency – es­pe­cially in T20. But on their day, they boast hit­ters and seam­ers to knock over any­one, led so well by Dane

van Niek­erk and Marizanne Kapp. This enig­matic af­flic­tion was cap­tured on their 2018 tour of Eng­land, when they routed the hosts in their first game but won only one fur­ther match.

Key player Lizelle Lee. The 26-yearold left Eng­land with her rep­u­ta­tion vastly en­hanced – the opener hit an ODI ton then smashed an­other in the KSL fi­nal to win Sur­rey the ti­tle.

Pre­dic­tion Must deny the hosts to clear the group.

Sri Lanka

Cap­tain Chamari Ata­p­attu Coach Har­sha de Silva WWT20 best Group (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)

The least fan­cied of the eight au­to­matic qual­i­fiers, Sri Lanka’s 2018 in­cluded the in­dig­nity of be­ing bun­dled out of the Asia Cup by Thai­land. They did de­feat In­dia in an ODI but it was a dead rub­ber. Their dread­ful time con­tin­ued in the T20s, los­ing those4-0. As a re­sult of her use­ful con­tri­bu­tions in the win over In­dia, 17-year-old Kav­isha Dil­hari has been in­cluded in a squad that lacks match­win­ners.

Key player Chamari Ata­p­attu. For too long Sri Lanka’s for­tunes have hinged on their cap­tain, who struck an un­beaten 178 against Aus­tralia in last year’s World Cup.

Pre­dic­tion Re­quire an as­ton­ish­ing form re­ver­sal to go be­yond the group stage.

West Indies

Cap­tain Stafanie Tay­lor Coach Hen­der­son Springer WWT20 best Win­ner (2016)

Of the cast who shocked the world to claim this tro­phy in In­dia, the main ac­tors re­main in place and this time around West Indies also en­joy home ad­van­tage. Yet for all this, their bid for con­sec­u­tive ti­tles is un­likely. Since pip­ping Aus­tralia in the 2016 fi­nal, they have sput­tered – dread­ful at the World Cup in 2017 and white­washed by New Zealand in both white-ball for­mats ear­lier this year.

Key player Stafanie Tay­lor. The 2016 World T20 could not have gone any bet­ter for hard-hit­ting Tay­lor, who not only led her charges to the ti­tle but also picked up the player of the tour­na­ment gong.

Pre­dic­tion Not this time, even if they do sneak into the fi­nal four. Bangladesh

Cap­tain Salma Khatun Coach Anju Jain WWT20 best Group (2014, 2016)

What a ride 2018 has been. Thrashed by South Africa to be­gin, the ex­pec­ta­tion was they would limp into this com­pe­ti­tion at best. In­stead they ar­rive in bet­ter shape than ever. This uptick was punc­tu­ated by a stun­ning Asia Cup, knock­ing over Pak­istan then beat­ing In­dia twice – in the group stage and then the fi­nal, in a last-ball thriller – to win the tro­phy from nowhere. Next, the Tigers dom­i­nated World T20 qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Key player Salma Khatun. Lead­ing the way to these dozen wins in 2018 has been the skip­per.

Pre­dic­tion They will pull off one up­set that will be re­mem­bered for years.

Group B Aus­tralia

Cap­tain Meg Lan­ning Coach Matthew Mott WWT20 best Win­ner (2010, 2012, 2014)

The hunted are now the hun­ters. Ar­riv­ing at a ma­jor tour­na­ment with­out a tro­phy in their pos­ses­sion for the first since 2010 is all the in­cen­tive Meg Lan­ning’s side (now with the vir­tu­oso No 3 back to full fit­ness) re­quire after stum­bling in the 2016 World T20 fi­nal then the 2017 World Cup semis. They pro­duced blem­ish-free dis­plays against New Zealand and Pak­istan in Oc­to­ber.

Key player Alyssa Healy. For a long time a player who had her doubters, Healy’s ca­reer has clicked with the feisty opener scor­ing five half-cen­turies in the last month.

Pre­dic­tion Only one re­sult will be ac­cept­able for the top-ranked favourites.

In­dia

Cap­tain Har­man­preet Kaur Coach Ramesh Powar WWT20 best Semi-fi­nal (2009, 2010)

Re­call­ing how close In­dia came in the 2017 World Cup fi­nal be­lies how far they are off the mark in the short­est for­mat. Since 2016 Mithali Raj has handed the arm­band to Har­man­preet Kaur in T20s, Jhu­lan Goswami has re­tired. This in­ex­pe­ri­ence was high­lighted when they were twice beaten by Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

Key player Sm­riti Mand­hana. The game’s bright­est ris­ing star, a grace­ful and pow­er­ful left-han­der who fol­lowed a splen­did home sea­son by top­ping the Kia Su­per League runs list.

Pre­dic­tion Hard to see them caus­ing a se­ri­ous threat.

New Zealand

Cap­tain Amy Sat­terth­waite Coach Haidee Tif­fen WWT20 best Run­ner-up (2009, 2010)

It’s now or never for this golden gen­er­a­tion who have con­sis­tently un­der­per­formed at ma­jor tour­na­ments. They en­ter this World T20 as the se­cond-ranked team after a sketchy 2018. After dom­i­nat­ing early, they were de­feated by Eng­land be­fore Aus­tralia white­washed them in Oc­to­ber. Even ac­count­ing for this dip, with a squad full of ca­pa­ble cam­paign­ers who have rou­tinely dom­i­nated the KSL and Women’s Big Bash League, they have the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence.

Key player So­phie Devine. Struck four ODI tons since tak­ing the vice-cap­taincy. A con­sis­tent force in the T20 leagues, she re­mains the big­gest hit­ter go­ing.

Pre­dic­tion Surely this time they find a way to be there when it mat­ters. Pak­istan

Cap­tain Jave­ria Khan Coach Mark Coles WWT20 best Group (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)

Pak­istan have stalled since the pre­vi­ous World T20, where they shocked ri­vals In­dia. Host­ing Aus­tralia in the lead-up, they were un­com­pet­i­tive after an equally poor Asia Cup. This was not helped by the ab­sence of the in­jured Bis­mah Ma­roof, who is back into the team but has not taken back the cap­taincy. Too much will fall on the shoul­ders of new leader Jave­ria Khan and vet­eran Nahida Khan.

Key player Sana Mir. The main­stay off-spin­ner keeps on keep­ing on, now ranked No 2 bowler in the world in ODIs.

Pre­dic­tion Un­likely to have the depth to de­liver an up­set.

Ire­land

Cap­tain Laura De­lany Coach Aaron Hamil­ton WWT20 best Group (2014, 2016)

Ire­land made head­lines for the wrong rea­sons ear­lier this year as New Zealand piled on world records with the bat. When that was fol­lowed by a de­feat to Bangladesh they were ex­pected to strug­gle at the World T20 qual­i­fier. How­ever, thanks in no small part to the ex­cel­lent con­tri­bu­tions of 17-yearold No 3 Gaby Lewis, they bounced back to clinch the fi­nal berth.

Key player Kim Garth. A clever seamer and the only Ir­ish woman to have fea­tured in the WBBL.

Pre­dic­tion More valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence to im­prove against the best.

Eng­land will be hop­ing Nat Sciver’s en­ter­tain­ing bat­ting style can light up the Women’s World T20 in West Indies. Pho­to­graph: Gra­ham Hunt/ProS­ports/Rex/Shut­ter­stock

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.