With the ICC Women’s World T20 ahead most of the fans are excited to see their favorite players make a mark in the ICC event.
The focus will be more on stars like Mithali Raj, Ellyse Perry, Heather Knight, and Stephanie Taylor but there are quite a few players who are ready to dazzle in this T20 extravaganza.
In a team full of batting stars, Ashleigh Gardner has made first-down a permanent spot in the T20 format with her big hitting. She had a wonderful Women’s Big Bash League early this year where she scored a blistering 52-ball 114 to take her team Sydney Sixers to 242, the highest total in any Women’s T20 domestic match in Australia. Gardner hit 21 sixes in that tournament, easily the highest in that count. For Australia, she was instrumental in the recent T20’s against Pakistan with back to back 50’s. She bats at a strike rate close to 137. She is also a handy off-spinner who will provide necessary bowling options for Australia. For this second Australian indigenous woman to play the sport, this is the right time to take the game to next level and play a key part in taking back the trophy to Australia after 2014.
A veteran of 76 T20Is for White Ferns, Sophie Devine is a key player with her all-round ability. With Suzie Bates, she has developed one of the lethal opening combinations of Women’s cricket. She also provides solidity in the bowling department with her four steadies over of medium pace in the middle. Making mark is not always easy when you mostly bat with Bates, but Devine snatched the limelight in more than one situation. Most notably in 2016 Women’s World Cup, she blasted 91 of 43 balls against Pakistan with record-breaking nine sixes. More recently she has made another 59-ball century against Ireland which gave ample proof of her hitting capabilities. Devine has to be one of the prime performers for her team if they want to take the coveted trophy home.
Danielle Wyatt made herself well known to Indian fans when she asked Kohli to marry her in one of her tweets. It was 2014 and Wyatt was just a fringe player in England set up. But in recent times she has turned quite a few heads with her performance and made herself a permanent member of the English Women’s team. Her power hitting abilities suit the shortest format the most and as a result, she now has experience of 83 T20I’s accumulating 994 runs till now with an impressive strike rate of 127.10. She is only the second woman cricketer after Deandra Dottin to have two T20 Internationals Hundreds, one of those coming in March this year against India in Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. She is also a handy off-break bowler and bowls quite frequently for her team providing key breakthroughs. England team is surely going to miss the experience of Sarah Taylor in the middle order, but the eyes will be on Wyatt to provide the necessary firepower in the batting line up.
Dane Van Niekerk
With close to 10 years of experience in international cricket, Dane Van Niekerk is one of the brightest stars in Women’s game. She is also an inspirational leader for South Africa who leads from the front as she did against West Indies in 2017 World cup when in her 20 ball spell she took 4 wickets without conceding a run. It was the only instance in international cricket for any bowler to take 4 wickets without a single run against his or her name. Apart from being a leg-spinner with a prodigious turn, she is also a key batsman for the team. In T20 she generally opens for the team and gives a breezy start. Currently, she has more than 1,500 runs with 9 fifties and an average nearing 29 in T20. Niekerk was visibly upset when South Africa ended last WWC in the semi-final stage. She would certainly like to give her all to change the results for her team in this World T20.
Jamimah Rodrigues has only 9 month’s experience in international cricket but in this short time, she has already made a name for herself as one of the mainstays for Indian batting line up and a sharp fielder. Rodrigues was not even 18 when she made her debut against South Africa in their den and in her very first match scored a crucial 37 batting at number four to help India complete a tricky chase. She got instant fame with a wonderful well-judged catch in the boundary line in her 5th T20 International. She was also instrumental in India’s recent 4-0 win over Sri Lanka with two back to back fifties followed by 46 in the final match of the series. Currently, she has a career strike rate of 137.14, one of the highest in the circuit. She has every bit of talent and attitude to become a superstar among the new generation of Women’s cricket’s fan base. This World T20 can be a perfect platform for Rodrigues to take herself towards the path of greatness.