The Women’s World T20 enters its sixth edition on 9 November, with the event being hosted in Windies for the second time. Among the teams earmarked to lift the trophy are Australia, the most successful team in the history of the tournament with three titles and a runner-up finish to their credit.
That Australia enjoys a rich cricketing heritage and is among the top sides in the world holds true in women’s versions of the game as well, and the team captained by Meg Lanning will hope to preserve their proud reputation when they travel to the Caribbean.
The Aussies have been enjoying a positive run of form, both in T2oIs and one-dayers. They will be entering the tournament full of confidence after their 3-0 whitewash of the T20I series against Pakistan in Malaysia, a series that saw the Australians notch up a big win in every single outing.
The year 2018 has also witnessed the Southern Stars win the T20I triangular series in India in March, beating England by 57 runs in the final. That was then followed by a whitewash of New Zealand in a three-match series a month ago. This year, Australia have won 10 out of 11 T20Is.
Australia are on top as far as the 50-over format goes, with the team currently topping the points table in the ICC Women’s Championship, having won eight of their last nine matches. Their strong performances in the recent months would act as a strong catalyst heading into the tournament with a positive frame of mind.
Women’s World T20 history
With three titles and a runner-up finish, the Australian team is by far the most decorated side in the history of the Women’s World T20. Following a semi-final finish in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2009, Australia have reached the final of every edition of the tournament — with a hat-trick of titles (2010, 2012 and 2014) coming along the way. Their winning run came to a halt in 2016, in which they lost to Windies by eight wickets in the summit clash.
Australia enjoy a healthy win percentage (75) in the tournament as far as their overall record is concerned with 19 victories, six losses and a tie. Only arch-rivals England have a better record than them in that regard.
Players to watch out for
Star all-rounder Ellyse Perry remains an impact player whose contributions prove vital more often than not. Fellow seniors, captain Lanning and wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy — the top run-getter in the Pakistan T20Is — will also be carrying the burden of expectations on their shoulders, given their flourish with the bat in recent fixtures.
Sophie Molineaux, the 20-year-old left-arm spinner who made her debut in the T20I format in March earlier this year, is another exciting prospect to watch out for and will be expected to weave her magic around the opposition batters. Molineaux was the leading wicket-taker in the Pakistan series, collecting seven wickets to go with superb numbers (average: 7.42; economy: 4.72). The youngster was also among the wickets in Australia’s 3-0 whitewash of the White Ferns (four wickets at average and economy of 15.25 and 5.08 respectively).
Given the quality in their ranks as well as recent record, Australia will easily figure in the top four teams to watch out for, whichever prediction you happen to come across.
It certainly won’t be overstating things to say that Australia are favourites to lift the title for an unprecedented fourth time.
9 November at Providence: Australia vs Pakistan
11 November at Providence: Australia vs Ireland
13 November at Providence: Australia vs New Zealand
17 November at Providence: Australia vs India
Meg Lanning (c), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.