Australia are the top ranked side. ©Cricket Australia

Australia are the No.1 ranked Twenty20 team in the world. They also have Megan Schutt – the No.1 ranked bowler, Meg Lanning – the No.3 ranked batter and Ellyse Perry – the third ranked all-rounder in this format in their arsenal. Such strong standing alone make apparent that Australia will be the team to beat this in the upcoming ICC Women’s World T20.

 

Strengths:

Australia’s batting depth is unparalleled. The top-ranked ODI batter, Perry, comes in at No.7! Known for their brisk scoring ability, it will be interesting to see what strategies opposition bowlers follow against the Australian batters. Even when they have lost a few early wickets, Australia have had the likes of Lanning rescuing them and then taking them to position of strength.

Like their batting, the bowling too has a lot of flair. Schutt is a brilliant bowler in the shortest format of the game. Alongside her, Australia have a three-pronged spin attack. With the Caribbean pitches suiting spin more, these bowlers will prove a massive threat. So strong is Australia’s spin attack that Jess Jonassen, who was the seventh ranked T20 bowler not long back before getting injured, might have to fight for her place back in the playing XI. Sophie Molineux, who came in place of her, has done a brilliant job.

 

Key Players:

Opener Alyssa Healy will be a key player for Australia. She has been in good form, recently scoring her third consecutive T20I half-century. If she continues this form, the Australian batters will be hard to stop. Along with Healy, Ashleigh Gardener has also been in ominous form. She recently notched up back-to-back half-centuries too. These two are big power-hitters and if they keep batting like this, bowlers are in for some serious damage.

When the top-order has not fired, Lanning and vice-captain Rachael Haynes have been able to rescue the innings. So, these two will also play an important part in having to rebuild the innings in case of a collapse.

With the ball, Schutt will play an important role. Her economical bowling, knack for taking early wickets and breaking partnerships will benefit Australia greatly. With spin playing such an important role on the Caribbean pitches, Georgia Wareham, Molineux, Gardener and Jonassen will also be vital.

 

Areas of Concern:

Their main area of concern is fielding. In their series against New Zealand, there were quite a few dropped chances and some misfields. But, they improved on that in the series against Pakistan that followed.

 

Youngsters to Watch Out for:

Watch out for Molineux and Wareham. The two impressed in the T20I series against New Zealand and again against Pakistan.

Tayla Vlaeminck is another exciting player to watch out for. The 20-year-old is yet to make her T20I debut, but is filled with a lot of promise. She bowls with great pace and can bowl some good bumper balls to put the opponents on the back foot early.

 

Performance over the Last Editions:

Australia have been the most successful team of the tournament, winning three titles. Since the 2010 edition, Australia have reached the final on every occasion. They won three back-to-back titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014.. They lost to West Indies in the final in Kolkata in 2016.

 

Squad: 

Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen (subject to fitness), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani

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