10 players to watch at the T20 Women’s World Cup
The Women’s T20 World Cup is about to start, and the best female T20 players have descended on Australia for the February 21 to March 8, 2020, tournament. The players listed below are all capable of swinging a T20 contest on their own, with either bat or ball, or both in some players case. We have run the rule over the 10 squads and nominated the players to watch at the T20 Women’s World Cup.
Sophie Devine (New Zealand)
New Zealand’s captain Sophie Devine is one of the cleanest hitters in the world, with her ability to blast the ball to all parts of the ground a highlight. Devine, who also represented the Kiwis in field hockey, averages 27.9 in T20 Internationals, while her bowling is also serviceable and she is an outstanding fielder. If Devine is heavily involved in games the Kiwis are hard to beat, making her one of the players to watch.
Ellyse Perry (Australia)
The no.1 all-rounder in women’s cricket, Ellyse Perry is simply outstanding at all facets of the game. In the T20 format Perry averages 30.6 with the bat at a strike-rate of 105, while she averages 19.4 with the ball and has claimed 106 wickets over 111 matches. To top it all off Perry is an in-demand model and has also represented her country in soccer. Perry is paying around $6.00 to be named the player of the T20 Women’s World Cup.
Chamari Athapathu (Sri Lanka)
Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapathu is an exceptionally clean hitter, as highlighted by her blistering 113 off 61 balls against the Aussies at North Sydney Oval in September last year. Another thing favouring Athapathu is her experience in Australian conditions. Athapathu looms as one of the players to watch at this tournament and could be a serious contender to be leading run-scorer at the tournament, given she is likely to get plenty of opportunities in a frail batting line-up. For a player of Athatpathu’s talent her average of 19.1 from 81 games is not good enough.
Sophie Ecclestone (England)
Bowlers win matches in T20 cricket and England’s Sophie Eccleston is a match-winner, despite only being 20 years of age. Arguably the best leg-spinner in women’s cricket, Eccleston will need to fire if England are to win the World Cup Twenty20. Eccleston averages 18 with the ball, having claimed 34 wickets in just 24 matches. Watch out for Eccleston in the lower-order – she has been known to hit a long ball.
Marizanne Kapp (South Africa)
Kapp has form in Australia and is one of four players to have taken a hat-trick in the WBBL. Kapp is a dynamic opening bowler who is also able to curb the flow of runs in the power play overs. Kapp averages 20.5 with the ball and has taken 56 wickets in 75 matches. Perhaps her biggest asset is her economy rate, giving up just 5.39 runs per over. Kapp is also a valuable contributor in the middle-order with her batting.
Alyssa Healy (Australia)
The Australian superstar has been on a serious run of outs in the lead-up to the ICC Women’s World Cup T20, which is worrying for the Aussies. Ranked the no.1 T20 batter in the world, Healy is a proven international performer, but needs to find some confidence quickly. Healy’s average of almost 26 stacks up well, but her strike-rate of 130.2 puts her in elite company. Could Australia’s chances hinge on Healy finding form? The Aussies begin their campaign against India on Friday, February 21.
Shafali Verma (India)
Verma is just 16 years of age, but already looms as one of the keys to the Indian team winning the T20 Women’s World Cup. Verma has played 14 matches and averages 24.92, with a strike-rate of 140.86. Verma is likely to open the batting for the Indians and the longer she stays at the crease, the better her team’s chances are. Verma is surrounded by quality batters, meaning there won’t be too much pressure on her to succeed in Australia.
Harmanpreet Kaur (India)
Who can forget the 171 Kaur plundered against Australia in the semi-final of the 2017 ODI World Cup… Australians certainly can’t. Kaur has the outstanding average of 27.9 from over 100 T20 internationals and the 30-year-old looms as the key to India’s chances. Her experience will also be key with several gun Indian youngsters set to gain exposure in Australia.
Stafanie Taylor (West Indies)
The West Indies skipper Stafanie Taylor is the no.1 ODI batter in the world, and is ranked inside the top 10 in T20s. She looms as a key to her team’s batting, but her biggest triumph could be getting her new-look line-up to gel quickly given Deandra Dottin, Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman have all been out injured.
Nigar Sultana (Bangladesh)
Bangladesh’s star batter played a huge role in her team ending India’s stranglehold on the Asian Cup in 2017. If she can average 30, like she did at that Asian Cup, at the T20 Women’s World Cup her reputation will be enhanced even further. Just 22, Sultana averages 22.9 from 50 T20 Internationals. Sultana is also her team’s wicket-keeper.
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