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Key players at the Women's T20 World Cup 2020

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Womens_T20_World_Cup_CricketFew tournaments bring about as much excitement and thrill as the Women’s T20 World Cup.

In an era where T20Is are an inevitable part of cricket, it’s brilliant to see the women’s game rising and providing excellent performances in the briefest format.

As 10 teams compete Down Under, eyes on the trophy, a lot is at stake. Big runs and thumping wickets will decide the victors in the games ahead.

The presence of the following 8 players makes this a must-watch tournament.

Javeria Khan (Pakistan)

In the Sana Mir-era, Khan was one of the most important cogs in Pakistan’s batting wheel. Now, in the post-Sana Mir era, Javeria Khan is easily the most valuable batter around for her side.

While Pakistan’s T20 World Cup record is anything to boast about, the team having failed to move beyond the group stage in all past editions, that they could fare differently this time around would be down to how Khan bats.

One of the most humble and dignified competitors at cricket’s grandest stage, Javeria Khan, along with Bismah Maroof, will form the mainstay of the team’s batting.

Her ability to hold the fort and stitch partnerships should serve a vastly-talented team- one boasting of the likes of Umaima Sohail and Nida Dar- well in this mega-tournament.

Dane van Niekerk (South Africa)

The furthest that the Proteas Women have ever reached in a T20 World Cup was in 2014, when they finished as the semi-finalists.

From thereon, the side has let itself down in the premier event despite boasting of some fine legends of the game, one of which certainly is the current captain Dane van Niekerk, who returned to don the bright greens just in time following a long period away from the game.

In Niekerk, South Africa have the precious spark that can ignite the Proteas fire and unite fans and the country like few other talents can. A leg-spin prodigy who arose as a vital all-rounder, the right-handed batter can not only hit the ball cleanly and score runs but can also take vital wickets and inspire her side to fantastic triumphs.

Among the most highly rated figures in the women’s game, South Africa would want nothing else but just that in the much-awaited contest ahead.

Katherine Brunt (England)

England Women’s Spartacus of pace bowling, Brunt is a redoubtable legend of the game. What can one say about a force that’s constantly been in motion, in the middle of cricketing action for a decade and a half, and is still going strong?

Barnsley’s finest contribution to English cricket, the great Katherine Brunt will be eager to steam in hard at the batters and provide her side with much-needed breakthroughs that only a noted exponent of accurate, nagging medium pace can provide.

Having missed out on the 2018 T20 World Cup, Brunt, who’s maintained a fantastic economy in the highest annals of the game, would put to good use all that experience of having played against the competing sides over these years (with the exception of Thailand, who debut)

Moreover, her ability to hit the ball cleanly from down the order, evidenced by a T20 strike rate of 111 (425 runs from 46 innings) should really come in handy when needed by Knight’s team.

Chanida Sutthiruang (Thailand)

The young, agile medium pacer is clearly the talent to watch as Thailand take perhaps their biggest step in international women’s cricket, participating in their first-ever Women’s T20 world cup, a dream that came true as they beat Papua New Guinea last year in the World cup qualifiers.

A bowler who combines pace with accuracy, Sutthiruang is a handy exponent with the white ball, who can both put a lid on the scoring rate and clinch wickets to shudder free scoring batters.

The calm and jovial fast-bowler would be someone captain Tippoch, one of the finest off-break specialists ever (from Thailand), would rest on to give the rising side much-needed breakthroughs.

That the ICC chose Sutthiruang as the ‘Emerging Player Of the Year 2019’ (last year) is, in itself, an indication of the talented bowler’s rise to prominence. Hopefully, her maiden World Cup campaign would extract something special from Thailand’s determined cricketer to remember for posterity.

Sophie Devine (New Zealand)

Let’s put it this way. There are fine batters. Then there are consistent batters. And then there are those who are considered dangerous by one and all. But there are only a few, perhaps a handful even, who’re every bit as dangerous as they are consistent.

The White Ferns captain, who’s been in tremendous touch of lately, evidenced by her sterling T20 performances with the bat against the Proteas Women that featured a T20 hundred and 3 unbeaten fifties, will be the talent to watch in the games that lie ahead.

Moreover, Devine, who was adjudged the player of the WBBL 2019 edition, scoring in excess of 760 runs whilst also capturing several key wickets, ever a close facet of her game.

The scorer of the fastest half-century by a woman in a T20I (18 balls), there’s not a lot bowlers can do when Sophie Devine gets going, which will exactly be the thing to watch in the upcoming contests.

Deandra Dottin (West Indies)

The only West Indian in the current line-up to hit 2 T20 centuries, Dottin, who’s famously regarded as the “World Boss” of Women’s cricket, carries no less appeal than the great Gayle himself for her destructive abilities.

But make no mistake.

The fierce Barbadian is also a handy medium pacer, someone who picked most wickets- 10- during the celebrated event’s last edition, in 2018.

That Dottin returns to a side- post a long gap owing to injury- just when the Windies wanted someone of her class and repute would augur well for a unit that hasn’t really been at its best in the game’s shortest format.

So what better than exploding at the game’s biggest stage, yet again, albeit this time, in Down Under?

Megan Schutt (Australia)

The first Australian woman to take not one but two hat-tricks in ODIs, Megan Schutt, without whom the Australian pace department cannot be imagined today, has also claimed a hat-trick in T20 cricket, taking one against India in March, 2018.

Today one simply cannot imagine the Australian line-up in the absence of Schutt, perhaps one of the finest exponent of cutters and seamers in the game alongside an Anya Shrubsole. Teaming up with Perry, Schutt can really bog down the best batting attacks without significant effort and with glee.

Determined and focused, Schutt enjoyed a fantastic 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup, where she clinched the most wickets by an Australian, taking 10 wickets from just 6 games. She bowled 13 overs and maintained an outstanding economy of 5.1 (even better than Ashleigh Gardner, who picked up as many wickets as Schutt).

Shafali Verma (India)

The youngest-ever woman from India to wield the bat in international cricket, Verma is undoubtedly a prodigy. At 16, the right-hander is grinding it out in the competitive women’s sphere, competing with giants of the game.

Introduced to the game when she was 15, Verma has quickly established herself as a prominent hitter in the limited-overs circuit - albeit one who still has a very long way to go.

On her maiden overseas tour to the West Indies, Shafali slogged lots of runs; 158 of them from just 5 games, which included 2 flamboyant half-centuries.

Prior to arriving in Australia for the recent women’s tri-series, the avid youngster had already compiled 222 runs from 9 T20s. If India are to make a great headstart in their campaign and go further to the business end of the T20 world cup, then a lot will rest on Shafali’s top-order exploits.

Kudos to the youngster for shouldering the pressure of responsibility by opening the batting for one of the strongest teams around, against hardly any experience of playing in a major ICC World cup event!



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