Australia’s women cricket team will start as firm favourites to claim their sixth World Cup when the tournament begins in India today.
The Southern Stars boast some of the finest women’s cricketers in the world and anything other than a triumph should be viewed as a failure.
The three factors below are the reasons why Southern Stars are expected to win.
With the tournament played in India, the batswomen are likely to dominate and posting or chasing large scores will be mandatory. Australia will boast a line-up capable of setting large totals and running down the giant scores.
Opener Meg Lanning, the youngest Australian cricketer (women and men) to score a 100 at the ODI level, averages 47 and has already scored two hundreds and couple of fifities in her 17 innings in ODI cricket.
Elysee Villani, her opening partner, is the so-called “David Warner” of the women’s team. Her ability to loft ball with ease should enable Australia to get off to fast starts in the power plays.
The young opening brigade is well contemplated by the experience middle order in the tournament. Lisa Stalekar, a veteran of over 75 games, and captain Jodie Fields coming in at 5 and 6 respectively will ensure if the top order misfires the team will not be in trouble.
The Southern Stars have an abundance of power hitters. The middle order consists of Sarah Coyte, Alyssa Healy and Elise Perry, all of whom are capable of hitting the ball long, giving Australia a deep batting order.
Nothing beats experience in World Cups, whether it is cricket or any other sport.
In Lisa Stalekar, Jodie Fields, Australia have women capable of handling pressure situations better than any other nation. Importantly, the experience in the middle and lower order should ensure Australia excel in pressure situations.
Secondly, the Southern Stars are experienced in the sub-continent. Playing in India can be tough. Adjusting to the heat, the noise and the pitches can be a battle in itself but nearly all the squad members have had the exposure to the difficult conditions.
Last year the Southern Stars whitewashed India in a three-match series and then later claimed the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Failure in the previous World Cup
Australian teams don’t like losing and the disappointment of the loss in the previous World Cup should ensure they are desperate to win the title this time around. Jodie Fields, the captain spoke about the team’s dedication to overcome the disappointment in her first team meeting leading up to the tournament.
With this in their minds don’t be surprised if Southern Stars go through the Cup undefeated.