White Ferns begin with crucial clash against India
The White Ferns’ most important match at the World Twenty20 is their first, tomorrow against India.
The two teams have met just once in the past three years – in a one-day international at last year’s World Cup in England – which means there’s no head-tohead form to speak of, making for somewhat of a step into the unknown.
The White Ferns are ranked second in the world in the game’s shortest format, and a win over fifth-ranked India will ease their passage to the semifinals.
Lose and they will likely need to beat world No 1 Australia in their second match, a team they were recently swept by in a series played across the Tasman.
Before they set off for the West Indies, their home for the next fortnight or so, the White Ferns captain Amy Satterthwaite was ready for the challenge of taking on India in such a crucial match first up.
‘‘It’s always an interesting one when you haven’t played a team for a while,’’ she said.
‘‘Obviously their team’s changed a little bit, but likewise ours will have as well. Hopefully, having some players they haven’t seen much of will put us in a good position.’’
The White Ferns also have Pakistan and Ireland in their group, two teams they should expect to beat comfortably – though those matches could mean nothing if they don’t win at least one of their first two.
England, the West Indies and South Africa are the threats in the other group.
Spin is expected to play a big role in the Caribbean, much like it did in India two years ago, where the White Ferns made the most of the conditions to upset Australia in the group stage, only to lose to the eventual champions, the West Indies, in the semifinals.
Coach Haidee Tiffen was confident her side had the tools to succeed.
‘‘We’ve got high-quality spinners in the likes of Amelia Kerr and Leigh Kasperek who haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket but have been successful. To go to conditions like this that will suit them, hopefully they will continue that form.’’
The White Ferns lost to the West Indies by seven wickets in their final warmup match yesterday, scratching their way to 122-9 after being sent in.
At a glance
Amelia Kerr is one of several spin options for the White Ferns.