After an impressive, winning campaign in the last ICC World T20 in 2016, Stafanie Taylor's West Indies will be keen to exploit home advantage in a bid to defend their title.
After an impressive, winning campaign in the last ICC World T20 in 2016, Stafanie Taylor’s West Indies will be keen to exploit home advantage in a bid to defend their title.

The sixth edition of the ICC Women’s World T20 gets underway on November 9 in West Indies and the buzz around the first-ever standalone ICC Women’s World T20 has been immense. Defending champions West Indies are in Group with former winners England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Australia and New Zealand are in Group B comprising India, Pakistan and qualifiers Ireland.

Here’s the preview of Group A

West Indies

After an impressive, winning campaign in the last ICC World T20 in 2016, Stafanie Taylor’s West Indies will be keen to exploit home advantage in a bid to defend their title.

They will look to lean on the experience and all-round dynamism of skipper Taylor, who not only received Player of the Tournament in the competition’s previous edition, but also sits atop of the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I all-rounder rankings.

Many have predicted spin-friendly conditions for the upcoming tournament, and the Windies’ strong spin attack could prove vital. They boast no. 2 ranked T20I bowler Matthews, no. 11 ranked Anisa Mohammed as well their skipper, Taylor.

Of the Windies’ group stage fixtures, only England (third) boast a higher ranking than the hosts (fourth) in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s team standings, but opponents Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka are all in the top 10.

Squad: Stafanie Taylor (c), Afy Fletcher, Anisa Mohammed, Britney Cooper, Chedean Nation, Chinelle Henry, Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews, Kycia Knight, Merissa Aguilleira, Natasha McLean, Shakera Selman, Shamilia Connell, Shemaine Campbelle, Sheneta Grimmond

England

England’s victory in that inaugural World T20 might even outrank last summer’s trophy in terms of the impact it had on the game in the country – in fact, that second triumph can be seen as a direct consequence of the first, which kickstarted a drive towards professionalism previously undreamt of.

Throughout their batting line-up England are stacked with players who can change games by themselves. Danni Wyatt, after years in the wilderness, has smashed two of England’s three T20I hundreds in the past 12 months, while her opening partner Tammy Beaumont made the other in their world record score against South Africa.

Captain Heather Knight is in the form of her life, having finished second on the run-scorers’ charts in the Women’s Cricket Super League. Nat Sciver led Surrey Stars to that Super League title and is on her way to becoming the best all-rounder in the world, while Katherine Brunt, blistering with ball and bat, is a genuine all-rounder in the shortest format and has 14 years of international experience behind her.

Squad: Heather Knight (C), Anya Shrubsole (VC), Tamsin Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Kirstie Gordon, Jenny Gunn, Danielle Hazell, Amy Jones (WK), Natalie Sciver, Linsey Smith, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt

South Africa

South Africa will start the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 as one of the favourites to lift the trophy and will be buoyed by the fact that they are the best acclimatised side apart from the hosts. Having toured the Caribbean for a Twenty20 International series in September, South Africa will know the conditions well.

Wicket-keeper Trisha Chetty’s return to the side after an injury lay-off will bode well with the team. The accuracy and aggression of Shabnim Ismail, who is South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is, will be invaluable. In addition, Masabata Klaas’ consistency and the leg-spin of van Niekerk will make for a very potent bowling attack.

In Marizanne Kapp, South Africa have the one of the most experienced pace bowlers at the tournament.

Squad: Dane Van Niekerk (c), Chloe Tryon (vc), Trisha Chetty (wk), Mosaline Daniels, Mignon Du Preez, Yolani Fourie, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kaap, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee (wk), Sune Luus, Zintle Mali, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Laura Wolvaardt

Bangladesh

They shocked everyone by winning the 2018 Asia Cup earlier this year, beating India twice in the process, marched unbeaten through the qualifiers, and have had a host of other impressive performances – notably a dismantling of Pakistan for 94 in a recent ODI.

Bangladesh’s leg-spin pair, Rumana Ahmed and Fahima Khatun, ran rampant during the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier, claiming a combined 19 wickets from five games at an average of exactly five runs per wicket.

Squad: Salma Khatun (C), Rumana Ahmed (VC), Ayasha Rahman, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Nigar Sultana Joty (WK), Khadiza-Tul Kubra, Lata Mondol, Nahida Akter, Panna Ghosh, Fargana Hoque Pinky, Sanjida Islam, Shamima Sultana (WK), Sharmin Supta, Ritu Moni