ICC Women’s WT20: Meet the Indian women who look to win maiden world title
The ICC Women’s WT20 is about to get underway in West Indies and the Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian team will be looking to win its maiden global trophy for the country. Here is a look at the women who lok to create history for India.Updated: Nov 09, 2018 15:47 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Indian women’s cricket team has seen a massive surge in its popularity among the cricket crazy fans of the country ever since their gritty performance in the ICC Women’s World Cup last year, where they narrowly lost to hosts England in the final.
That tournament gave recognition to many cricketers who had been toiling in national colours for a long time. The core of the team remains the same and a charged up bunch under the leadership of the gallant Harmanpreet Kaur will take the field in the Caribbean in the ICC Women’s WT20. Here is a look at the players who will try to win India’s first global trophy in women’s cricket.
1) Mithali Raj: Perhaps the biggest superstar of women’s cricket in India, Mithali Raj’s assured presence in the top order will be a big boost for the otherwise young Indian team. A veteran of 82 T20 internationals, Mithali could hold the key in India’s batting as the other stroke-makers in the team rally around her.
2) Harmanpreet Kaur: The hard-hitting middle order batswoman from Punjab has a game suited for the T20 style and her performances in the format has catapulted her to the position of India’s captain. This is Harmanpreet’s first big tournament as India’s captain and if she leads from the front with the bat, India could well go the distance in the tournament. Keep an eye out for the big sixes from her willow.
3) Smriti Mandhana: This flamboyant southpaw launched India’s 50-over World Cup campaign last year in stunning style by hitting a century and has not looked back since. Her record-breaking exploits in England’s premier women’s T20 league this year makes her the most prized scalp for bowlers from across the globe. If Mandhana can hit consistency in the opening slot, the title is for India to lose.
4) Ekta Bisht: The slow left-arm orthodox bowler could hold the key for India’s bowling department on the sluggish tracks in West Indies. She headlined the India-Pakistan clash in the 50-over World Cup last year with a match winning five-wicket haul. The veteran spinner could be Harmanpreet’s go to bowler in this tournament.
5) Deepti Sharma: The young all-rounder has been a huge asset for India in the 50-over format but her skills have not been utilised to the fullest in 20-over cricket. A reliable batsman and an off-break bowler with a lot of guile, Deepti Sharma is a captain’s delight and could be an important cog in India’s wheel.
6) Veda Krishnamurthy: A middle order batswoman with oodles of swag. Veda has the ability to take the game away from the ooposition with her slam bang batting style and she could well be the finisher for this Indian team. Needs to bat higher than usual to be more effective.
7) Anuja Patil: An all-rounder with the ability to tonk the ball and a reliable spin bowler, Patil is a veteran of 42 T20 internationals and could feature regularly in the tournament for India. Another one of those bits and pieces cricketer who could do well as the tournament progresses.
8) Poonam Yadav: With 61 wickets in 43 T20 internationals, this leg-spinner is expected to shoulder the burden of leadership in the spin department. Yadav’s ability to provide breakthroughs in the middle overs makes her an important asset for captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
9) Jemimah Rodrigues: At 18 years of age, this Mumbai girl has already played 14 T20 internationals and could well be the face of the next generation of Indian women cricketers. An average of 37.33 and strike-rate of 137.14, Rodrigues is the another finisher who could be the difference for India in this tournament. If she bats the way she does, no target is out of reach for India.
10) Pooja Vastrakar: With Jhulan Goswami no more part of the T20 set up, the responsibility of leading the pace bowling department falls on the shoulders of this youngster from Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh. With only 11 T20 internationals behind her, this 19-year old has her task cut out in a big tournament.
11) Arundhati Reddy: Another young pace woman who will look to fill in the big boots of Jhulan Goswami. Reddy is expected to partner Vastrakar with the new ball if India do start with pace from both ends. Another youngster who will get her first global experience.
12) Radha Yadav: Another left-arm spinner, Yadav might fing it difficult to break into the playing XI and is traveling mostly as a player part of the squad. But in a big and long tournament, anyone could be called up at anytime and Yadav will have to be ready to give her best. Has played 9 T20 internationals and picked up 9 wickets.
13) Mansi Joshi: Having made her T20I debut way back in 2016, this medium pacer has featured in only one more T20 match since then. Favoured more in the ODI format, Joshi is a back up option in the pace department.
14) Taniya Bhatia: India’s specialist wicket-keeper for the tournament, Bhatia is a veteran of 20 T20 internationals and will have her task cut out, as she will keep to a lot of spin bowling. Her effective keeping could well be an asset for the team.
15) Dayalan Hemlatha: This Chennai cricketer has played 3 T20 internationals and is a handy middle order bat. She too is travelling as a back-up option in the tournament.
First Published: Nov 06, 2018 14:10 IST