The ICC Women’s World T20 is around the corner and there is plenty of excitement for the tournament this time around. The tournament is going to be held in West Indies, the home of the defending champions, and promises to showcase the progress the women’s game has made in the last couple of years.
The ICC Women’s World T20 2018 is going to attract a lot of attention from all parts of the world. The Women’s game has accepted T20 as its primary format and this is why this world tournament probably holds the most importance.
This is also the first time that the ICC Women’s World T20 will be held as a standalone event. It will feature the ten best teams in the world divided into two groups.
|Team||Played||Wins||Losses||Points||Net Run Rate|
|New Zealand Women||4||2||2||4||1.031|
|Team||Played||Wins||Losses||Points||Net Run Rate|
|West Indies Women||3||3||0||6||2.900|
|Sri Lanka Women||4||1||2||3||-1.171|
|South Africa Women||3||1||2||2||-0.910|
Group A will feature the Windies, Bangladesh, England, South Africa, and Sri Lanka while Group B will feature India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
The second-ranked T20 team in women’s cricket right now is the dark horse for this tournament. We think this is a very dangerous side with a lot of very good T20 players but it has struggled to win matches off late. They have played 13 matches in 2018 and lost six out of them. More crucially, though, all six of those losses have come in the last seven games.
This is not the ideal way to build up to the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 but New Zealand will be hoping its players are able to rise to the occasion.
For New Zealand, how well it does in the tournament may well depend on the form of Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates. The two opening batters for New Zealand have been involved in plenty of record-breaking run sprees but to expect them to score in each and every match is not reasonable.
New Zealand has some decent depth in its batting lineup as well with players like Green, Satterthwaite, Martin, and Watkin in the batting side. The tendency for New Zealand to crumble when Devine and Bates are unable to get a good start must be something that is apparent to all of New Zealand’s opponents.
New Zealand has a decent bowling lineup, though, which we believe should be competitive in all of the matches it plays in the World T20. Tahuhu, Huddleston, Watkin, Kerr, and Broadmore are all solid bowlers that can be banked upon to put in relatively solid performances.
The fact is that New Zealand is not going to be facing very high-quality opposition in all of the matches, If they can lift their game and ensure they don’t drop easy points then we should see New Zealand reach the knockout stages of the tournament.
The compressed nature of T20 cricket, though, makes the margin of error much smaller.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: Semi-finalists
There is very little to expect from Sri Lanka going into this massive competition. Sri Lanka was thrashed 4-0 by India at home, lost to Pakistan at home before that, and was blanked out during its tour of West Indies this year as well.
We think it’s safe to say that T20 is not Sri Lanka’s forte.
They do have some decent players which could cause an upset or two.
The first among them is the skipper, Chamari Atapattu, who will lead the batting effort for her country. Atapattu scored an ODI century against India recently and led her side to their first win over India in five years.
Mendis is another player that sides will be wary of because she can be quite destructive on her day. She recently played an inning of 32 from just 12 balls while opening the batting. More of such heroics will be expected of her in the upcoming tournament.
There is a real lack of depth when it comes to batting resources and opponents will always know that Sri Lanka is just a couple of wickets from a complete collapse. Its bowling is also similarly limited.
Prabodhani, Kumari, de Silva, and Siriwardene are going to be the bowlers to lead Sri Lanka’s attack. They are disciplined and have a few tricks up their sleeve but they are not going to give any opponents sleepless nights.
For Sri Lanka to win a couple of matches would be a great success in this tournament. They have been put in a tough group where we struggle to see them winning a single match also.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: Last in Group A
The Windies are the defending champions coming into this tournament and will be playing at home. Will this add to the pressure that the Windies faces in this tournament or will it be something that gives them a boost? It remains to be seen but we have a feeling that playing in front of a supportive crown should be largely beneficial to the Windies.
2018 has not been a good year for the WIndies when it comes to T20 cricket. The team has played 8 matches and won only two out of them. That the two wins came against a South African side that is pretty tough itself should give it some confidence but they will be aware of the challenges that lie ahead.
One of the biggest concerns for the Windies heading into this tournament is consistency. West Indies has a few bright youngsters in its side that can come and take the game away from the opposition in a jiffy but the interim matches when they don’t come off can be quite hard to watch.
It is perhaps for this reason that the Windies have chosen to pick 11 players from the squad that won them the title last time around. Players like Matthews, McClean, Talyor, Dottin, Campbelle, and Agulilleria make for a strong batting lineup.
Matthews, Taylor, and Campbelle are the women that we will be keeping a close eye on to leave a mark on this competition.
The bowling for the West Indies is pretty decent. They showed in their recent series against South Africa that they have bowlers who can do the containing job very well and pick up wickets through a slow tightening of the noose.
Connell will be the leader of this bowling attack and can be expected to do a consistent job in most games. If Mohamad, Fletcher, and some of the other all-rounders can step up then the WIndies may be a tough side to beat on its home turf.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: 3rd in Group A
Bangladesh is one of the fastest improving T20 sides in women’s cricket and we are very excited to see what they can do this year. 2018 has been Bangladesh’s most successful year in T20 cricket. They have won 12 out of the 20 T20 matches they have played with the highlight being their triumph in the Asia Cup.
Bangladesh has shown tremendous fighting abilities and will the team everyone will be wary of playing in the group. It is going to be tough for them to qualify against the likes of South Africa, England, and the Windies but they have to believe they can win every game.
The squad has been chosen to try and replicate the Asia Cup success with Salma Khatun as captain. The improvement in Bangladesh’s T20 fortunes has come about largely because they now have a side that bats relatively consistently.
Shamima Sultana and Fargana Hoque are the two batters that will be integral Bangladesh’s fortunes. Both of them have scored two fifties each this year and have the ability to take the attack to the opposition.
Players like Nigar Sultana and Ayesha Rahman are pretty decent batters too but they have not quite perfected the art of scoring consistently.
If Bangladesh is able to find a way to score runs then it will hope to strangle the opposition through some tight bowling and energetic fielding. If you are looking at a team to cause upsets then Bangladesh may be the one to back.
They are a side that punters can back for some very decent odds at the beginning of the match because the opportunity to hedge is likely to arrive during in-play betting.
We don’t think they are going to make the knockouts but can see them giving some of the established sides a bloody nose.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: 4th in Group A
England, along with Australia and maybe New Zealand, is one of the true powerhouses of the women’s game. The standard of cricket in these three countries is just at a completely different level from all of the challengers. This could be down to the professional payment structures in place for a long time, the facilities available, as well as the commitment of the board to expose its players to the best around the world.
There is a lot to like about England’s side. The players play a lot of T20 cricket throughout the year and have the necessary experience of performing in big matches as well. Players like Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont, Natalie Sciver, and Danielle Wyatt are going to be the mainstays of the batting order while the bowling will be led by Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt, and a host of all-rounders.
Sarah Taylor is going to be missing the tournament because of an anxiety-related condition.
Perhaps the biggest strength of this England side is that they have plenty of all-rounders to call upon in their playing eleven. This gives them a lot of balance, at least on paper. What they lack is in power hitting, though, especially later down the order.
If England can find a way to consistently score runs at a good pace then we think it has the bowling to go far and maybe all the way in this tournament. England’s fielding is definitely one of the best in the world and that also adds a lot in the shortest format of the game.
England has been put in a group with some very good teams. The Windies, South Africa, and even Bangladesh are going to be a handful. England cannot afford any mistakes and must begin the tournament in the best possible manner.
Tammy Beaumont is the player to watch out for us in the batting department. She has the skill and the temperament to really boost England’s chances in this tournament.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: Finalists
Australia is the most successful side in the history of Women’s T20 cricket. They won the tournament in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Australia also managed to reach the final of the World T20 held in 2016 where they lost to the West Indies.
We think it is safe to say that Australia is going to go into this year’s tournament as the overwhelming favorite as well. The Australian women’s T20 side has played 10 matches in 2018 and won 9 out of them. The only match it did lose was to the English women, another strong side.
What is equally impressive is the fact that Australia won its matches in a host of different conditions and against a number of different opponents. Having access to some top-quality facilities as well as the best T20 competition for women in the world ensures that places in the Australian women’s side do not come easy and that the side remains at the cutting edge of T20 tactics.
The biggest names in Australian T20 cricket are also among the biggest names in Women’s cricket. Meg Lanning, the captain, is widely regarded as one of the best batters in the world. Elysse Perry is another legend of the game that will be very keen to add another world title to her resume.
Players like Healy, Mooney, Gardner, Villani, and Lanning will form one of the strongest batting lineups in this competition. There is plenty of firepower and experience in this lineup. We think Healy and Gardner are two players to watch out for in this competition.
They bat in the top order and have been in excellent form leading up to the tournament. Among the bowlers, Schutt, Perry, and Molineaux are the ones that will be leading the attack but there are plenty of other all-rounders in the side as well.
All in all, this is one side that seems to have everything going for it. We would be very surprised to not see them in the final four teams this year.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: Winners
India has had a pretty successful year in T2 cricket leading up to the World T20. They have played 18 completed matches in 2018 and won 12 out of those. The large majority of those matches, though, have been played in Asia and we certainly think some of the squad members are going to have a tough time getting used to the conditions in the West Indies.
India is being led by Harmanpreet Kaur, who along with Smriti Mandhana, is perhaps India’s best T20 player. Both these players play in T20 leagues around the world and are going to be crucial to India’s chances.
Smriti Mandhana bats at the top of the order and sets the tone for the entire match. She is not only a fast starter but has the ability to be able to score the big innings once she is set. Her opening partner is Mithali Raj, a legend of Indian cricket but someone who is near to the end of her career. If the pair of them can provide a good start to the Indian team then a lot of the work will be done already.
India has a decent batting lineup that includes Mandhana, Raj, Rodrigues, Kaur, Krishnamurthy, and some lusty hitting from the lower order to follow. Veda Krishnamurthy is one of the players we would watch out for along with Harmanpreet Kaur.
If the two of them can play a striking role in the middle then India should be able to get to good totals on most occasions.
Where India has been losing out to its rivals is in the fielding department as well as sheer physical fitness. The Indian bowling lineup is also susceptible to pressure and can crumble in the face of a heavy onslaught.
Poonam Yadav, DB Sharma, and RP Yadav will lead the bowling efforts from the Indian contingent. India does well at ICC events and we think it will definitely be one of the teams to watch but for it to break in the top-4 is going to require some amazing individual performances.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: 3rd place in Group B
Perhaps the one team that seems to have regressed a little in recent times is South Africa. 2018 has been a mixed year for it so far as it has won only 7 out of the 15 completed T20 matches it has been a part of.
South Africa was thrashed at home by India and struggled against New Zealand and England in a tri-series. It did manage to square the series against West Indies and thrash Bangladesh but for a side that was being talked about as the one to break the dominance of the Big 3 of women’s cricket, these results are nothing to write home about.
South Africa has really struggled to find a settled batting order or for that matter just batters that are good enough to score in the middle order with some sort of regularity. Lizelle Lee and Wolvaardt are superb at the top of the order but it is almost like one of them has to score in every single match.
This is a bit similar to New Zealand that is really strong at the top but in that case, the backup is much better.
Players like du Preez, Kapp, Luus, and Searle have consistently underperformed. The astonishing fact is that they are pretty decent batters who have been around the game for long enough to have experience in different situations.
Even in the most recent series against the West Indies, South Africa kept collapsing in a heap against some disciplined bowling and only managed to make a comeback after the top order started to pull together a little.
The role of the skipper van Niekerk is going to be very important in this lineup as well. We believe that she has the ability to inspire her troops to be better than they have been in the recent past and really make a run for it in this event.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: Semi-finalists
Ireland is the lowest ranked side in the World T20 and will enter with very low expectations. The side is led by Laura Delany and even though Ireland has not played too much top-quality T20 cricket this year, it has won five out of the last six matches it has played.
Ireland also managed to score a couple of victories against Bangladesh this year, which we believe is a good achievement for a developing side.
The last T20 match that Ireland played was back in July of 2018 and that is where we believe they fall back. The side just does not play enough cricket to be constantly in the groove of getting better. For this tournament, Ireland will be finding its best players and combinations once again.
They have picked a young promising leg-spinner born in Australia for this tournament. Celeste Raack declared for Ireland and will be playing international cricket for them. It is a good addition to the side because Raack has experience of playing in the WBBL as well as other high-quality grade cricket in Australia.
Overall, though, Ireland is going to struggle to make an impact in this tournament. Their best chance of causing an upset will come against Pakistan.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: 4th in Group B
Women’s cricket in countries like Pakistan and the others further down on this list is decidedly a work in progress. The women’s game is not given the resources or even the seriousness it deserves. Take for example the fact that Pakistan named its squad for the World T20 2018 without naming a captain.
The reason apparently is because the incumbent captain, Bismah Marrof, is undergoing medical treatment and may not be able to make it in time. Until that time, the management has not chosen to put in a leadership plan in place.
Surely that is going to affect how the team is preparing for the upcoming challenge.
Pakistan has won 8 out of its 15 matches this year but most of those matches have come against Bangladesh or Sri Lanka. No disrespect to either of those two teams but they are not in the same league as Australia or England.
Pakistan has managed to put together quite a decent bowling attack led by Sana Mir, Diana Baig, Nida Dar, and Natalia Pervaiz but the challenge for the side will be to get consistent runs.
Javeria Khan, the player expected to take up the leadership duties if Marrof is not able to get fit for the tournament in time, is one of the batters that will have to take the responsibility of getting Pakistan a competitive score.
Bismah Maroof, Nahida Khan, and Aliya Riaz are some of the other batters that will make up the Pakistani contingent.
A lack of exposure to high-quality cricket is going to hold this side back. Pakistan has made some strides in recent times but being thrashed 3-0 in the most comprehensive manner by Australia just before the start of the tournament cannot have been good for the side’s confidence.
ICC WOMEN WC 2018 Prediction: Last in Group B
The Australians are by and far the best side in the world when it comes to women's cricket. Their only real competition is going to come from England or New Zealand. The threat of an upset increases in a T20 match and the pressure of playing a big match can do funny things. All things considered, the strength of the team and the experience of playing more high-quality grade cricket than other side makes Australia an easy side to back as the winner.