In the West Indies, preparations are underway for the upcoming World Twenty20, as the hosts ready themselves for their title defense. But, before they do that, they have one crucial hurdle to cross; the South African team. Windies will host South Africa for a series featuring three ODIs and five T20Is. The series will play a big role in Windies preparation for the landmark tournament.
A key player for Windies is their skipper Stafanie Taylor, whose contribution with both bat and ball will be imperative for her team’s success. Hayley Matthews performance at the top of the order and Deandra Dottin’s’ end-of-innings blitz will also be a very important part in Windies posting a daunting total on the board. The experience of Anisa Mohammed and former captain Merissa Aguilliera will be very important to the team as well.
Windies boast a very strong batting line-up, one that can blow away any bowling attack. They have some of the best power-hitters going around in the women’s game at the moment in their squad and they will be confident in their ability to post a big total on the board or chase one down. They also have a capable bowling attack that can be economical and take wickets at regular intervals. It seems the Windies’ team has found the right balance between batting and bowling, and youth and experience.
From their previous matches, it is clear that there some inconsistencies in the team’s performance, especially with the bat. The team will need to improve on that aspect of their game. Another weakness is their inability to keep their nerves to clinch thrillers. In their series with New Zealand, they lost by margins as narrow as one run. They need to learn to keep their nerves in pressure situations so that they can win the close games.
This series gives Windies an opportunity to see where their team’s shortcomings lie and fix them before the start of the WT20. It also allows them to experiment a little and see what works best for the team so that they put their best team forward for the WT20. Gaining some winning momentum before the multi-nation event will help build the team’s confidence too.
ICC Women’s Championship points are up for grabs as well in the ODI leg of the tour. Automatic qualification for the Women’s World Cup is determined by these points, hence it is crucial for them to win to earn these points.
The West Indies won all their matches against Sri Lanka. However, against New Zealand, they lost all the games. So it will be interesting to see how the team fairs against South Africa.