Australia and India gear up for high-octane T20 World Cup opening clash

Women's CricZone Staff
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Mandhana and Rodrigues' mammoth opening stand powers India to a 9-wicket victory

Smriti Mandhana celebrates her century. ©Getty Images


India and Australia are coming from a high-octane final in the recently-concluded T20 tri-series involving England. The match ebbed and flowed till the end before Australia eventually won the match by 11 runs and clinch the title. Before the final, both Australia and India had the better of each other winning a game each in the round-robin stage. 

Both the teams are at it again. This time in the opening clash of the T20 World Cup 2020 starting from February 21. The two highly competitive teams will be eager to start well in the showpiece event. For the record, India had edged past Australia in the group stages of the 2018 edition. 

"I think it will be one of the most important games in my career," said young India batter Jemimah Rodrigues. "Playing a World Cup ... the first match in Australia and for me first time playing (a World Cup) in Australia. Nothing is more exciting than India in Australia, so it will be a match we all will be keen to play and just excited, can't wait to get to the first match."

"We're really excited about the opening match against Australia," added India seamer Shikha Pandey. "It's going to be a challenge, obviously, it's the World Cup, so the best teams are going to play against each other."

Both the teams have a pretty star-studded batting line-up with some of the biggest names such as Smriti Mandhana, Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Harmanpreet Kaur to name a few among it. Australia's premier fast bowler Megan Schutt was full of praise for Mandhana-who top-scored with 216 runs.

"Smriti Mandhana is on another level," Schutt said. "She's put me over the fence countless times both on international and WBBL level, unfortunately. She's got the X-factor, she's a left-hander, can hit to all the areas of the field."