After the disappointment of the 2017 ICC World Cup and the 2018 T20 Cup, when they reached the finals and the semi-finals respectively, the Indian Women's Cricket Team will be hoping to go the distance when they take part in the upcoming T20 World Cup that will be held in Australia from February 21, 2020.
After a clinical showing in the group stages of the event in 2018 in West Indies where they won every game to top the group, the Women in Blue stuttered in the semis against England as they went down by 8 wickets in what was a one-sided encounter. The lack of batting depth in the squad, then, had been criticized, but skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is confident that the unit will enter the competition this time around with new zeal, and the presence of youngsters Richa Ghosh and 16-year old Shafali Varma is sure to boost the side.
"We have brought Richa Ghosh into our squad recently on the back of her great performances in the Women's Senior T20 Challenger Trophy. Each and every member of the squad has a part to play and we need to give our all to win any game," Kaur wrote in her column for the ICC.
The 30-year old was also optimistic of the spinners faring well in the upcoming competition and added that they were being seen as the match-winners, who will have a crucial role to play as India hopes to win the maiden T20 title. In 2019, the slower bowlers from India picked up 73 wickets of the 91 that the side scalped in the format at an average of just 15.43 and an economy rate of 5.55. Only the spinners from Thailand Women managed to pick up more wickets.
"Our strength is spin. We’re always looking to find a way to integrate spinners into our team and even now, we’re assessing our plans and how we can exploit that strength. Our bowlers are always looking for the wicket-taking delivery and when we have our backs to the wall, they produce for us," she added.
The Indian Eves are currently in Australia, taking part in a T20I tri-series with the hosts and England in order to brush up their team combinations ahead of the event. While the Indians have not had the best of series', losing two and winning one, Kaur does not want to look too much into the results and is hopeful that the extra time that the team had in Australia would have helped them get acclimatized to the large boundaries and the conditions on offer.
"We went out to Australia earlier than a lot of teams and are in the midst of a tri-series with England and Australia, which will be a perfect platform for us. We will be familiar with the conditions over there and that will give us an extra boost to perform well. We’ll also be able to experiment with selection and we’ll look to find our best combination during that series. One thing is for sure – we won’t be afraid to give chances to newcomers," she further said.
India open their T20 World Cup campaign on 21 February against Australia.