WT20 : Women’s World T20 Group A Preview
Led by Meg Lanning, the No.1-ranked T20I batter, Australia Women will face a challenge from New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Ireland in its quest to retain the title
Group A of the ICC Women’s World T20 2016 is expected to be a tightly contested one with Australia Women, the defending champion, New Zealand Women, South Africa Women, Sri Lanka Women and Ireland Women, the winners of the ICC Women’s World T20 2015 qualifier, in the mix.
The top two teams from Group A will qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament.
Led by Meg Lanning, the No.1 ranked T20I batter in the world, Australia Women come into the ICC World T20 2016 as the favourite, having won the three previous editions of the tournament. It is a batting heavy team with lots of fire-power. The likes of Ellyse Perry, Alex Blackwell, Alyssa Healy, Elyse Villani and Lanning herself will hold the key for Australia with the bat.
Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Megan Schutt, Lauren Cheatle, Nicola Carey and Sarah Coyte form the pace contingent, while Jess Jonassen will lead the spin trio that also has Kristen Beams and Erin Osborne.
The 15-member squad possesses a great deal of experience as well, with eleven players having tasted World T20 success before. Only Beams, Schutt, Lauren Cheatle and Nicola Carey will be playing in their first major event.
Squad: Meg Lanning (capt), Alex Blackwell (vice-captain), Kristen Beams, Lauren Cheatle, Sarah Coyte, Rene Farrell, Holly Ferling, Nicola Carey, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani.
Ireland Women’s victory in the ICC Women’s World T20 2016 qualifiers was a heartening story. Isobel Joyce, the captain, has become the face of an ever-improving team. Ireland is a young side, full of exuberance and energy in the field. In Catherine Dalton they have a high quality batter at the top of the order who can hold the innings together. Cecilia Joyce and Clare Shillington provide the fire-power at the top of the order, while Kim Garth and Lucy O’Reilly, the fast bowling allrounders, can also use the long handle to good effect lower down the order.
Ciara Metcalfe, the 36-year-old leg spinner, Robyn Lewis, the left-arm spinner and Isobel with her offspinn, will provide some variety to an attack heavily reliant on its medium pacers.
Squad: Isobel Joyce (capt), Catherine Dalton, Laura Delany, Kim Garth, Jennifer Gray, Cecelia Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Robyn Lewis, Ciara Metcalfe, Kate McKenna, Lucy O’Reilly, Clare Shillington, Mary Waldron.
Having beaten Australia Women in a T20I series at home only a few weeks ago, New Zealand Women comes into the ICC World T20 2016 on the back of some good form. Suzie Bates, the captain and hard-hitting opener, has continued her good run with the bat.Sophie Devine and Rachel Priest can also clear the boundary with utmost ease and will be key to New Zealand’s campaign, while the experienced duo of Amy Satterthwaite and Sara McGlashan will shepherd the middle order.
Leigh Kasperek, the offspinner, who also had a good T20I series against Australia, Morna Nielsen, the left-arm spinner, and Erin Bermingham will form the spin trio. Both Nielsen and Kasperek will use their experience of having played in India less than a year ago.
Lea Tahuhu, the right-arm medium pacer, will be a handful with both the new and old ball with her ability to hurry the batsmen with genuine pace and also take the pace off the ball with her cutters. Thamsyn Newton and Hannah Rowe will join her in the pace battery.
Squad: Suzie Bates (capt), Sophie Devine (vice-capt), Erin Bermingham, Leigh Kasperek, Felicity Leydon-Davis, Katey Martin, Sara McGlashan, Thamsyn Newton, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.
In the 2014 edition of the ICC Women’s World T20, South Africa shocked New Zealand in the group stage to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. The Mignon du Preez-led side has come a long way since then and will certainly be regarded as one of the top sides of the tournament. In Dane van Niekerk and Trisha Chetty, it has found two explosive top-order batters, while du Preez and Marizanne Kapp provide the stability and experience in the middle. The likes of Lizelle Lee and Chloe Tyron can also clear the boundary at the back-end of the innings.
Shabnim Ismail and Kapp have come to form a formidable opening partnership with the new ball — Ismail’s pace and Kapp’s accuracy allowing South Africa to make early inroads more often than not. Sune Luus, Yolanie Fourie and Van Niekerk form the spin trio.
Having won the ODI series against India in 2014, the last time they played in the subcontinent, South Africa will take heart from the fact that it can adapt quickly to the conditions.
Squad: Mignon du Preez (capt), Trisha Chetty, Laura Goodall, Moseline Daniels, Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk, Dinesha Devnarain, Chloe Tyron, Sune Luus, Shabhim Ismail, Masabatha Klass, Ayabonga Khaka, Matshipi Marcia Letsoalo, Lizelle Lee, Yolani Fourie
While Sri Lanka Women upset England Women in its opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 in India, it hasn’t made it past the group stage since. In Shashikala Siriwardene the team has an experienced captain and high quality allrounder. Her ability to remain calm under pressure and get the best out of her players will be key to Sri Lanka’s success.
At the top of the order, Chamari Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis are explosive batters who are more than willing to take the attack to the opposition. Dilani Manodara, the diminutive wicket-keeper batsman is the team’s pocket dynamite, while Eshani Lokusuriyage, the big hitting allrounder, will provide it with the extra power at the back-end of the innings.
Inoka Ranaweera and Sugandika Kumari, the left-arm spinners, will play an important role in Sri Lanka’s campaign. Along with Siriwardena, they form an important part of the bowling attack. Lokusuriyage, Udeshika Prabondhini and Oshadi Ranasinghe will form the pace trio.
Squad: Shashikala Siriwardena (capt), Chamari Athapaththu, Yashoda Mendis, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Dilani Manodara, Prasadani Weerakkody, Eshani Lokusuriya, Ama Kanchana, Nilakshi De Silva, Sugandika Kumari, Inoka Ranaweera, Hansima Karunaratne, Udeshika Prabodani, Nipuni Hansika, Harshitha Madavi