T20 World Cup 2020 Final: A statistical preview
On Sunday (March 8), in front of a possible world record crowd, the Melbourne Cricket Ground will be the stage for what is surely the biggest match in the history of women’s cricket. Hosts Australia could claim a fifth T20 World Cup (and eleventh world title across both limited overs formats), while a fast-improving India are in search of a first global crown.
2020 Women’s T20 World Cup team stats
|Team||M||W||L||T||NR||W/L||Bat Avg.||RR||Bowl Avg.||ER||HS|
Australia no longer unstoppable, but have big match pedigree
This T20 World Cup and the preceding tri-series have seen Australia look more vulnerable than usual in recent times. In nine matches in 2019 (won 8, lost 1), Australia’s average partnership was 47.74 at a run rate of 8.68 rpo, the best figures for any women’s T20I team in a calendar year. In their ten matches in 2020 (won 7, lost 2, tied 1) Australia’s 24.75 runs per wicket (third highest) at a run rate of 7.24 (second) are still solid numbers, but they’re no longer an outlier, having been dragged back by the chasing pack.
Australia have been far more susceptible to both pace and spin bowling this year than they were in 2019.
Wickets lost by Australia in T20Is
|Year||M||Pace wkts||Pace avg.||Pace ER||Spin wkts||Spin avg.||Spin ER|
As a bowling side, Australia are themselves conceding one run per over more in 2020 (6.72 rpo) than they were in 2019 (5.72 rpo). Australia remain a strong side, but they no longer look unbeatable.
Head to head: AUS 13-6 IND
Last six matches: AUS 3-3 IND
In Australia: AUS 4-4 IND
At T20 World Cup: AUS 2-2 IND
India are a rare side against whom Australia don’t have a winning record in home T20Is (the other is England, the only side with a positive record against Australia in Australia). India have alsod fare well against Australia at the T20 World Cup, having won their last two meetings in the tournament. Australia do however have an exceptional record in international knock-out matches against all sides. Since their famous semi-final at Derby in the 2017 World Cup, Australia have played five international finals and semi-finals in all formats, winning them all. India by contrast, have played four knock-out matches in that time and have lost on all four occasions (their most recent the tri-series final against Australia in February). All four defeats for India have been characterised by indifferent batting displays or outright collapses.
Australia captain Meg Lanning in particular has an outstanding record in T20I knock-out matches, which she maintained with her unbeaten 49 against South Africa in the semi-final. In nine final and semi-final appearances at the T20 World Cup, Lanning has scored 332 runs at an average of 47.42. The player with the next most runs is Alyssa Healy on 181. Among players to have batted four or more times during the T20 World Cup knock-out stages, the next best average is that of Aimee Watkins (37.66). In all T20I knock-out games, Lanning has 459 runs at 51.00.
In their entire history, Australia have lost just two World Cup finals across both limited overs formats combined (ODI v New Zealand in 2000 and T20I v West Indies in 2016), while winning the other nine.
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Youthful India dominate the power play, but lose way in the middle overs
2020 T20 World Cup team power play stats
|PP batting||I||RpW||BpW||RR||PP bowling||I||RpW||BpW||ER|
Excludes innings with reduced overs
India have stood out at this World Cup for their aggression with the bat in the power play. India’s power play run rate has been 1.46 rpo faster than any other side in the competition and a full 2.41 rpo above the tournament average. India’s run rate for their first wicket partnership (8.30 rpo) has been the third highest for any side in a single edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup, beaten only by New Zealand and Australia’s efforts in 2018.
Australia will need to make up for the lack of Ellyse Perry with the ball in the power play. This was less of an issue in their truncated semi-final against South Africa, who were among the slower starters at this World Cup, but will be imperative against quick out of the blocks Verma/India.
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Highest run rate Women’s T20 World Cup first wicket partnership by year
India’s impressive numbers at the start of the innings have been largely driven by the sensational form of 16-year-old Shafali Verma. The right-hander’s strike rate of 161.00 at Australia 2020 is currently the highest by any player to have scored 150+ runs in a single edition of the tournament.
Verma’s lightning starts have made up for a relative lack of contribution from India’s middle order, and Harmanpreet Kaur in particular (26 runs in the World Cup so far). In the 10 overs after the power play, India progress at 6.05 rpo and lose wickets at a rate of once every 21 balls, both below the average for the competition. Australia by contrast, have been one of the strongest batting sides in the middle overs (7.30 rpo and 30 balls per wicket), thanks to the likes of Lanning and Rachael Haynes, as well as Beth Mooney’s ability to keep batting well beyond the power play.
Excludes innings with reduced overs
While their run-rate picks up at the death, India have still been below average for the competition, and again, score slower than Australia at this stage (it should be noted with such a small sample size that many of the strongest batting sides at this point of the innings were drawn against Thailand, by far the weakest bowling side at the death).
For India, this pattern throughout the innings is almost the reverse of the situation at the 2018 T20 World Cup. With Kaur in much better form, India had the highest run-rate in the middle overs (7.60 rpo) and the second highest at the death (8.38 rpo).
This middle overs slump has meant that despite their strong starts India haven’t made any of the highest totals in the competition (their best is 142 for 6 against Bangladesh). India have however successfully defended all their totals, not least because of their parsimonious bowling to close the innings.
Excludes innings with reduced overs
Before the tournament began, there were questions about who would fulfill the role of India’s second pace bowler in support of Shikha Pandey. The end of season conditions in Australia have however made this a moot point. By the third match of the tournament, India had opted for a spin dominated attack. In their final group match against Sri Lanka, India bowled 12 unbroken overs of spin from the between overs 5-16.
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It looks likely that both Australia and India will be fielding an attack containing one leg-spinner and two left-arm spinners, indicative of the success those forms of bowling have had at this World Cup. Both styles have had a better economy rate and strike rate than the average for the tournament as a whole.
2020 T20 World Cup bowling
The 2020 final looks set to see more overs of left-arm spin than any previous Women’s T20 World Cup final.
Landmarks to look out for
At 16 years 40 days, Shafali Verma is set to become the youngest player ever to feature in a Cricket World Cup final of either format. The youngest at the Women’s T20 World Cup was Hayley Matthews (18y 15d in 2016), and the youngest at the Women’s ODI World Cup was Shaquana Quintyne (17y 45d in 2013). The youngest in any men’s World Cup final was Mohammad Amir (17y 69d at the 2009 T20 World Cup final).
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Jemimah Rodrigues needs 70 runs to reach 1,000 in T20Is. Rodrigues would be the youngest woman and first teenager to that mark, and the 3rd fastest in terms of innings batted.
Radha Yadav needs two wickets to reach 50 in T20Is. Like Rodrigues, Yadav would be the first teenager to her career milestone in women’s T20Is and would also be the fourth fastest in terms of innings bowled. Yadav would be the third bowler at this World Cup alone to break the youngest to 50 T20I wickets record, after Nahida Akter and Sophie Ecclestone.
India will be the first side to play more than one teenager in their XI in the final and should they win, would be the youngest squad to lift the trophy.
Alyssa Healy needs 15 runs to become the 11th woman to reach 2,000 T20I runs.