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Indian eves have ammunition to win T20 World Cup: Former captain Shubhangi Kulkarni

Indian eves have ammunition to win T20 World Cup: Former captain Shubhangi Kulkarni

Suhrid Barua

Published: 20 Feb 2020 8:25 AM GMT

Indian women cricketers have exuded a fair amount of consistency over the last twelve months. The Indian eves have won four ODI series on the trot last year – the team first got the better of New Zealand in their own backyard in a three-match rubber in January 2019, following it up with three-match home series win over England in February Mumbai. The Women in Blue subsequently put it across South Africa in a three-match series home series held at Vadodara in October and subsequently travelled to West Indies for a three-match ODI series in November, where they staged a come-from-behind 2-1 series triumph. As far as the T20s are concerned, Indian eves whitewashed West Indies 5-0 in their Caribbean tour – this winning effort came close on the heels of the team outplaying South Africa 3-1 in a six-match T20 series, wherein two matches were abandoned owing to rain. Of course, the team’s T20 performance at the start of 2019 was exactly much to talk about as they had lost 0-3 to New Zealand and England respectively.

The Women in Blue put up a creditable performance at the recent Tri-Nation Women's T20 Series in Australia, where they defeated both Australia and England once and reached the final where they went down to Australia from a seemingly winning position while chasing. Over the last twelve months, Indian eves have 22 T20 matches – they have won 10 and lost 10 and two games were abandoned.

So how realistic are Indian women’s cricket team’s chances at the 2020 T20 ICC World Cup? A marquee event where the team has failed to reach the final in six editions – it has so far attained three semifinal finishes in 2009, 2010 and 2018 editions. Former Indian women’s cricket team captain Shubhangi Kulkarni believes that the Indian eves have the ammunition to win the T20 World Cup. “I think the team has the right skill sets – the batting department appears sorted with a wealth of experience and exciting youngsters. Our bowling, especially our spinners are vastly experienced and will play a big role in Australia. In a format like T20 it is all about playing well on a given day and every team is beatable.

Shubhangi, who was the secretary of Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) when it was merged into BCCI, spoke glowingly about the likes of 16-year-old Haryana girl Shafali Verma and all-rounder Deepti Sharma. “Shafali is a fearless who likes to go after the bowling from ball one – she is very aggressive and can get on top of the bowlers quickly. Deepti goes about her business in a cool and calm manner and is a big asset to the side,” she quips.

Also Read: Spin it win it - Mantra of Indian Women's Team for T20 World Cup

The former Indian leg-spinner as well as a handy lower-order batswoman, who peaked as a player in the mid-seventies and eighties, however voiced her reservations about the team’s pace bowling department. “Seam bowling is an area of concern, but I’m confident our spin-heavy bowling attack will make up for it,” says Shubhangi with a tinge of confidence.

The likes of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are not part of the T20 mix, but the Indian eves according to Shubangi, appears to have handled their absence well. “Both Mithali and Jhulan are big shoes to fill and there are no second thoughts on that. But the current lot has handled their on-field absence well and the team looks good to spring surprises,” she fires a parting shot.

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