ICC Women's World Twenty20 - Where does Team India stand?
The ICC Women's World T20 2018 is all set to start in a couple of weeks time. The ten-team tournament will consist of 23 T20s played across three venues in the Caribbean during 9 November 2018 - 24 November 2018.
India will be in Group B along with three-time champions Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Ireland. Defending champions West Indies are in Group A along with England, South Africa, Srilanka, and Bangladesh.
How does the Group impact India's chances?
With three-time champions, Australia and two-time runners-up New Zealand, India will have to face a tough challenge in the group stage matches. Australia has been excellent against New Zealand in T20 in Australia and ODI series against Pakistan in Malaysia sweeping both the series.
New Zealand has all the firepower for the T20 format, which they displayed against Australia in the recent series although it ended with the loss. Both the teams are aiming to continue their momentum and fine-tune the performance in the coming days. The group which also has Pakistan will make the competition tougher in Group B.
The team had made it the semi-finals twice in the history of the tournament in 2009 and 2010. However, they have all the elements in their favour to make it a much better result this time around. The batting power consisting of Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, and wicket-keeper Taniya Bhatia is good enough to post or chase big totals against any opposition.
Mithali Raj and Smriti have been consistently providing with excellent starts for India with the bat will hold the key in the world T20 as well. The experience of Raj and the consistent attacking batting of Smriti makes a perfect combination at the top.
The middle order consisting of Jemimah, Taniya, Kaur, and Veda is capable of maintaining the momentum provided by the openers or rebuilding in case of early wicket loss. The hard-hitting abilities of Kaur is a huge advantage for India in the middle and death overs. She has already proved how quickly she can score and take games away from the opposition in many games. The all-rounders Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, and Radha Yadav will add to the depth of the batting and can contribute vital runs in the lower order.
Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Mansi Joshi, and Pooja Vastrakar will take the responsibility of the bowling department. They have been consistent in the previous tournaments with their disciplined and accurate bowling. The allrounders including Kaur will add more options and variety to Indian bowling depending on the match situation and opponents. It is certain that the bowlers will have the tough work to do especially against the strong batting lineup of Australia and New Zealand.
The team is well balanced with the young and experienced player for the World T20 which can reach the Grand Finale of the tournament. The two weeks journey is going to be tough, but, the team has the skills to beat the top sides like Australia. A good start in the stages will be vital for the team's confidence and performing better in the later stages of the tournament.
As Indian Captain mentioned, every team has two or three hitters who can change the game on their own. Kaur herself is a power hitter and has multiple members who can do the same role in the team.
India will take on New Zealand in the inaugural match of World T20 2018 on 9th November 2018. Let's hope they will return home with the World T20 trophy and wish them good luck.