There’s little doubt that Women’s Cricket’s most exciting battle of the year is here. Stop whatever you are doing and leave all tasks that are mundane and uninspiring and switch on the TV and tap open the scoreboards. The Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is here. It’s the mother of all sporting battles and a contest that’s every bit as inspiring as it is thrilling. So in this congregation of legends and youngsters, who’ll stand out from the rest and leave behind something inspiring.
What’ll happen when the exuberance of the youth clashes with the experience of the pros of the women’s game?
Let’s analyze some predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020:
Meg Lanning will outscore Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry
Not for nothing is the great Meg Lanning considered a “Mega Star” in her Australian side. Among the finest timers of the ball, someone who’s gifted at exploring gaps on either side with customary ease, Lanning’s batting compliments her personality: watchful, focused, and determined.
Could Australia have asked for a better leader than someone who’s already scored 2656 T20 runs, struck not one but 2 T20 hundreds, and collected 13 fifties in the game’s briefest format?
Having played T20 cricket for a decade, Lanning’s consistently scored big and at a burly strike rate. Hers is a career strike rate of 118, that indicates her power to deliver. A big-stage performer, someone who’s both feared and respected for her achievements, Lanning will guide Australia to score big and handsomely in the stage where it all matters.
Among the big key predictions for the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is that Meg Lanning, who holds the record for scoring the most number of runs in a single edition (257 during the World T20, 2014), will top score for Australia and may even outscore the belligerent Healy.
Annabel Sutherland will leave a big impression
She’s just 18 and already rubbing shoulders with the greats of the game, a majority of which happen to be her compatriots.
Full of enthusiasm and youthful energy, the lanky right-arm medium-fast Victorian, who’s also a handy batter in the middle-order, is tipped for greatness.
Now while being talented in a sport that thrives on it is one thing. But to be rated highly by a living legend of the game- Ellyse Perry lavishing praise on the teenager- means that you’re a cut above the rest. And thus, Sutherland, who can steam into the best batters of the game with characteristic aplomb and dart runs quickly when needed, will make most of her maiden Women’s T20 world cup.
Among the key predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is that the Victorian will leave quite an impression in her debut World Cup campaign, contributing richly to her side in both departments. She may not make glitzy fifties but will engage in power hitting and effect key dismissals for the Aussies when most needed.
Taylor and Dottin will top score for the Windies Women
One simply cannot imagine the current Windies line-up in the absence of two of their finest ball-smashers in Dottin and Taylor, a dynamic duo that’s collected over 5,200 T20 runs jointly in the game’s briefest format.
This year too, Taylor- considered among the finest all-rounders of the game, with 28 World T20 wickets and the second-highest tally of runs ever scored in world cup history at 797- will lead Windies’ charge impressively.
She’ll lead by an example and shall inspire the likes of Matthews and Dottin to deliver big runs.
On the other hand, Dottin, the Chris Gayle of the Women’s sport will make most of her time spent away from active cricket, following a long injury layoff. The scorer of 2 T20 hundreds, the most ever by a West Indian, will further add memorable scores to an aggressive tally that reads 2368 T20I runs, including 2 tons and 10 fifties.
Moreover, she’ll also be keen to inflate her World Cup tally of 638 runs.
To put it simply, if the Windies Women are to launch themselves into the semis, after enduring not the most productive run the last time around in 2018, when they were hosts, then runs and wickets will have to sparkle on Taylor and Dottin’s scores.
Australia Women’s will lift the world cup yet again
They are the giant killers, a side you dread facing. In addition, the odds are highly stacked in their favor. No other team contesting in the T20 world cup has experienced such consistent and profound success as the triumphant Aussies.
The winners of the Women’s T20 World Cup on 4 separate occasions, Australia will test the mettle of all who compete against them, this year too.
Not only do they have prolific scorers of big runs- think of Lanning and Perry, Healy and Mooney- but also comprise of game-changing pacers and spinners who can run down oppositions with comfortable ease.
When you field a Lanning and Perry, the most prolific Australian batswoman of all time and the game’s finest current all rounder, you are no longer just a competitive side; you are something beyond special- aren’t you?
This year, with the likes of an in-form Jess Jonassen (59 T20 wickets, the economy of 5.3, 1 four-for, 1 fifer) and the scorer of the highest individual T20 knock of all time in Alyssa Healy (148 not out), Australia should really fancy their chances. Moreover, they’ll take on the best of the world at home comfort. Among the key predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is that Australia will lift their fifth World T20 crown.
India will play the finals or definitely reach the semis
Recently India reached the finals of the women’s tri-series and were well on their way to chase down Australia’s ask of 156 before a Jess Jonassen-inflicted fifer tore them down.
But Australia, who opened their contest against Harmanpreet’s ladies in the much-watched tri-series and also ending up acing the finals observed one thing: that it can never be that easy to trump India or cast them aside.
For a team that boasts of an excellent balance in the form of genuine spinners- Radha Yadav (43 T20 wickets), Poonam Yadav (85 T20 wickets), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (30 T20 wickets), and Deepti Sharma (49 T20 wickets)- and two of the game’s iconic T20 batswomen- Harmanpreet and Mandhana (nearly 4000 T20 runs)- it can never be any easy for a team to drub India.
Among the key predictions for the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is that India, who have the right batting and bowling combination, powered by both experience and the flair of its youth (think the belligerent Shafali Verma and the pacer Reddy), Harman’s team will easily reach the semis. And don’t be surprised if the team even contests the finals.
Proteas Women will reach semis, equalling their best run
The Proteas Women reached the semis of the 2014 World T20. That was their best. Since then, their performances have been rather disappointing in the events that followed.
But make no mistake. This is a highly passionate unit, where one talent draws power from the strength of the other.
In genuine match-winning all-rounders who generate magic with both the white ball and the power of the blade, the Proteas women will ride high on the experience of inspirational captain van Niekerk, the dominant Marizanne Kapp, the big-hitting Lizelle Lee, and the evergreen Mignon du Preez.
While Luus and Niekerk have scored 636 and 1776 runs, respectively, their wicket columns are also anything but dry, Luus’ 44 wickets often spinning the best teams into a web of trouble quite like Niekerk’s 59 scalps.
The openers, Lee and Wolvaardt, jointly account for well over 1800 T20 runs. Add to that, their dash of scoring big and freely.
Then, in stalwarts like Kapp and Ismail, the Proteas women are fired by genuine wicket-takers who boast of 150 joint wickets, Ismail, among the fastest pacers around, alone accounting for 94 scalps.
And when you bring the great Mignon du Preez into the picture, someone, who apart from featuring in all women’s World T20 editions, has also gone on to compile a respectable tally of 1,666 runs (strike rate of 100, 7 fifties) you understand that it can never be easy to doubt the Proteas fire.
This year, the team, boasting of at least 7 players who featured in last World T20, will take the team into the business end of the tournament.
And truth be told, world cricket always loves it when the likes of a Windies and the Proteas succeed and knock away the stumbling blocks.
Spinners will outscore medium-pacers for more wickets
Among the interesting predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is that the spinners will outshine the pacers and fast-medium exponents in cricket’s grandest stage.
While there’s hardly a doubt that the Women’s T20 World Cup is featuring some outstanding talents with the white ball in Katherine Brunt, Ellyse Perry, Diana Baig, Megan Schutt, Rosemary Mair, and the young Arundhati Reddy, the big stage, we predict is going to belong to the spinners.
Make no mistake. There are plenty of bamboozlers of spin around who will challenge and trump the best batters around.
When you have match-winning turners of the likes of the clever Poonam Yadav (85 T20 wickets at an economy of 5.6), the foxy Dane van Niekerk (59 T20 wickets at an economy of 5.4), the unputdownable Sophie Ecclestone (42 T20 wickets from 30 games, economy of 6.4), and the great Anisa Mohammed (118 T20 wickets from 108 games, economy of 5.5), there’s little that the opposition can do.
On rank turners and slow tracks that anyways assist the slower bowlers, some of the finest names in the women’s game will make it a slugfest between runs and the difficulty with which they are scored, doing the latter with much success.
Sciver and Wyatt will shine for England in the series
There’s hardly a doubt regarding what happens when one among the finest batswomen of the English side gets going. When you have someone like a Danielle Wyatt up top- the scorer of the highest-individual knock for England Women’s in T20 cricket- facing the white ball, then fours and sixes become a common sight.
That Wyatt, a fierce striker of the ball, alongside the likes of South Africa’s Lizelle Lee, India’s Smriti Mandhana, and Windies’ Deandra Dottin, will have the support of tenacious batters in Knight and Beaumont will add to the firepower of England.
700 of her 1541 T20 runs (including 2 centuries and 7 fifties) have simply come from boundaries. Need further proof of her T20 exploits? Look no further than the contest at Mumbai, in 2018 when a butchery knock of 124 that included brute strokes against someone like Jhulan Goswami mowed down India.
Then, there’s the fantastic Natalie Sciver, a dominant all-rounder who’s already collected well over 1200 T20 runs (including 5 fifties, a career strike rate of 111) and clinched 56 wickets from 71 games (including 2 four-fors).
Important predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, therefore, undoubtedly go Sciver and Wyatt’s way: England will ride high on a memorable tournament where both will shine and sparkle.
Mandhana will outscore Harmanpreet
Of her 2156 T20 career runs, which include 1 century and 6 fifties, Harmanpreet has already collected 428 runs from 28 World T20 contests. While she’s scored only a solitary World T20 fifty, that she blasted a T20 world cup best knock of 103 in the last edition of the T20 World Cup makes her among the closely-followed batting talents around.
Runs usually come easy and fluently when someone like the stylish right-hander occupies the middle. Moreover, in the World T20, 2018, she top-score for India, collecting 183 runs, at a staggering strike rate of 160.
Next up was Smriti Mandhana, who nearly outscored her emphatic captain, rounding up a memorable World T20, 2018 as she’d score 178 runs, at a brilliant average of 35. This year, among the key predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 suggests that India’s flamboyant left-hander will outscore her famous captain. A case in point is Smriti Madhana’s phenomenal run in the recent women’s tri-series that involved two of the best current sides in Australia and England, wherein she raised 216 runs.
The attacking batswomen, it is expected, will shine brightly for India and as often expected, will lead the attack from the top order, easing up the pressure on the rest.
Sophie Devine’s fine touch will continue to form headlines
Danger. Peril danger. That’s what you are mostly up against when bowling to someone who, as seen in the recent times, has been hammering her opponents, as if the bat in her hand were a sword that simply cuts through.
Among the key predictions for Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 is that the White Ferns captain will experience an outstanding tournament, much to the chagrin of New Zealand’s opponents.
The Proteas Women recently faced the bludgeoning blade of the gifted Sophie Devine, who appeared in murderous form in the T20s back in New Zealand). Not too long ago, Devine, apart from striking 297 runs, remained unbeaten in all innings and even notched up her maiden hundred, giving an indication of the form her opponents can expect from one of New Zealand’s most selfless cricketers.
For someone who conducts herself with immense grace, Sophie Devine cuts a gritty persona in a contest where that thrives on pressure.
That she scored the most runs in WBBL’s 2019 edition- a whopping tally of 769 runs- apart from also coming good with the ball in hand- 19 wickets- should offer a warning to anyone thinking of taking the great Sophie Devine lightly.
That she’ll have the experienced presence of a familiar “wrecker-in-chief” in the form of Suzie Bates at the other end, and Rachael Priest, should bolster the Kiwi batting in the games ahead.