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Australia’s home Women’s T20 World Cup campaign begins against India, in a Friday evening clash at Sydney Showground Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 7:00pm (AEDT).
Australia enter the tournament with high expectations. The defending champions are currently ranked number one in T20 internationals and will be looking for a fifth World Cup title.
India, ranked fourth in the ICC T20 international standings, are after their first World Cup title. The best result for the country has been making the semi-finals in 2018, 2010 and 2009.
India have three teenagers in their squad, including 16-year-old batting prodigy Shafali Verma, 16-year-old batter Richa Ghosh and 19-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues.
India’s spin-heavy side has been talked about heavily in the lead-up to the tournament, but has proven quite effective in Australia so far this year.
Australia made a late change to their squad yesterday. Off-spinner Molly Strano replaces young pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck, who has a stress fracture in her right foot.
Molly Strano was the leading wicket-taker in the WBBL tournament in October last year and was recently named domestic player of the year at the Australian Cricket Awards.
All eyes will be on the opening partnership for Australia. Alyssa Healy performed brilliantly at the last World Cup but has struggled for runs of late. Can she make it to double figures to start her tournament well?
The pressure is certainly on Australia, but as one of the more experienced sides, the talent and ability to perform across the line-up will be of great value.
Australia and India have met three times in the last month, the home side winning two matches to India’s one win.
Most recently, Australia defeated India in the final of the tri-series also involving England by 16 runs.
The women have labelled that tri-series as the best possible preparation – six tough games against top opponents. Will it pay off as the World Cup finally gets underway?
India know how to beat Australia, having done so earlier this month, but with a line-up as good as Australia’s to rely on, expect the home side to get an early win on the board.
Australia to win.
Catch all the action live on The Roar from the first ball at 7:00pm (AEDT).
Venue: Sydney Showground Stadium
First ball: 7:00pm (AEDT)
TV: Fox Cricket, 9Gem
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Odds: Australia $1.33, India $3.25
Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham
Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gaekwad, Richa Ghosh