Women's T20 World Cup: Strength in spin, feels Harmanpreet Kaur
Indian women's team bank on tweakers to hit high notes at T20 World Cup in Oz; captain Kaur feels that's their strength.
Australian pitches are known for their pace and bounce, but the Indian women's cricket team will have to rely on spinners in their quest to clinch their maiden T20 World Cup next month Down Under.
As many as four spinners - Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Deepti Sharma - have been selected in the squad of 15 for the T20 World Cup that has just three pace bowling options —Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar and Arundhati Reddy while uncapped batter Richa Ghosh is the only new face.
India kick off their campaign against hosts Australia on February 21 at Sydney.
Harmanpreet Kaur & Co, who were unbeaten in four group games of the 2018 T20 World Cup, suffered a humiliating loss in the semi-final against England in the Caribbean and a major controversy erupted.
Skipper Kaur backed the decision to include four spinners in pace-friendly conditions. "If we speak about our team, our strength is spin and that is the reason we are looking for more spinners in our side. Now, the only thing is how we are going to use them there [in Australia] and how we are going to [use] their strength. They are very good and always give us breakthroughs. Whenever we need them, they will perform for us," said a confident Kaur after the World Cup squad was announced.
The year 2019 began on a horrible note for the Indian women's team, losing six T20Is on the trot—three each against New Zealand and England. However, Kaur & Co were quick to make amends by winning T20I series v South Africa at home and v West Indies in the Caribbean.
Kaur said the difference was in their execution. "We did not execute what we were expecting from ourselves [in the first half in 2019]. But against South Africa and West Indies, we played to our potential and that's the reason we were able to get positive results. This is what we are looking [to do] at the T20 World Cup too," said Kaur.
World Cup squad
Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
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