3 Reasons why India will lift the ICC Women’s World T20
The first edition of the stand-alone ICC Women’s World T20 has entered its business end with the hosts and defending champions, West Indies set to lock horns with Australia in the first semi-final.
In the second semi-final, India would look to exact revenge on England as the two superpowers of world cricket go toe to toe.
After the culmination of the group stages, India and West Indies remain the only teams with a perfect record. While the hosts are clear favourites to retain their crown, the Indian team seems equally capable of throwing a spanner in their works.
India has been impressive in all its group stage encounters, with them finding a new match-winner on each occasion. Their skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur came to the fore against New Zealand, whereas the experience of Mithali Raj guided them in a tricky chase against arch-rivals Pakistan.
In their third game against Ireland, the spinners reigned supreme while against Australia, Smriti Mandhana was back to her imperious best.
With India seemingly firing on all cylinders, the dream of a first World T20 crown could soon turn into reality. Through this article, we would look at three reasons why India seems primed to lay their hands on the ultimate prize in the shortest format.
Here is a look at them:
#3. The pitches are conducive to spin bowling
A month before the World T20 began, India’s pace spearhead, Jhulan Goswami announced her retirement from the shortest form of the game. The tall, lanky pacer from Bengal had previously turned out for India in T20s on 68 occasions. Thus, her unexpected departure certainly left a huge void in the pace bowling department.
However, India has been smart. Rather than looking at a replacement for the irreplaceable pacer, they have focussed their resources on stocking their bowling front with spinners.
Against Australia, as many as four front-line spinners took the field with Arundhati Reddy being the only non-spinner. Additionally, the bowling department can also bank on their skipper, Harmanpreet, to come up with the odd over or two.
Hence, the Indian team management would have been delighted with the pitches on offer in the Caribbean. The wickets have been slow, sluggish and conducive to spin bowling. Batswomen have found it hard to create pace off such dead tracks, which has led to the Indian bowling unit prospering excellently.
The Indian spinners have shown excellent control and guile to tie the opposition batswomen in knots. More of the same and the trophy could well be on its way to India.
With the Caribbean heat not showing any signs of letting up, one can expect the pitches to get slower and lower with time. Apart from India, the other teams left in the fray are susceptible to spin. Thus, India should fancy its chances of toppling their rivals and reigning supreme.