International Cricket Council's premier women's championship, ICC Women's World T20 returns for its first standalone edition and will commence on Friday, November 9. India will take on New Zealand in the first fixture of WWT20 2018 at the Providence Stadium in Guyana.
Both the teams have played seven T20Is against each other with the New Zealand women comprehensively leading the scoreline 5-2.
In their previous clash in July 2015, India women got the better of New Zealand women to win by three wickets. After electing to field first, Women in Blue restricted White Ferns at a sub-par total of 126/8 in their quota of 20 overs and then overhauled the target in 19 overs with six balls to spare.
India are coming into this tournament on the back of a 4-0 T20I series win against the host Sri Lanka Women and will be pleased with their recent T20I performances. After winning the opening match of the series by 13 runs, the team went on to win the subsequent games against hosts by five wickets, seven wickets and 51 runs respectively.
Mithali Raj is India's leading run-getter in ODIs with 2176 runs. She is Women in Blue's most experienced campaigner in T20I and it will be up to her to help India post a decent total.
Jemimah Rodrigues was in superb form in the recently concluded Sri Lanka T20I series as she ended the series with 191 runs at an impressive average of 63.66. He hit two fifties in four matches and is expected to begin the WWT20 campaign with a good batting performance.
India will also pin a lot of hopes on skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana. Both the players have been the backbone of India's batting order in recent past and are expected to play crucial knocks in the middle.
Poonam Yadav is India's best bowler with 61 T20I wickets and was the leading wicket-taker in recently concluded series against Sri Lanka. She together with Ekta Bisht will be the key figure in Indian bowling lineup.
Bisht has taken the 50 T20I wickets for her side and has been India's key wicket taker in recent times.
Meanwhile, Radha Yadav proved her worth during the tour to Sri Lanka. She possesses the ability to fox the batsmen with her variations.
Expected Playing XI
Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy or Deepti Sharma, Tanya Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht and Pooja Vastrakar.
New Zealand Women
On the flipside, New Zealand women are coming off a 3-0 series defeat against Australia women. Despite being on the second spot on ICC T20 rankings, they have not been at their best in recent times. However, they will take confidence from their fabulous record against the Blues, which gives them a certain edge over them.
Meanwhile, in a surprise move, their regular skipper Suzie Bates stepped down from captaincy recently and Amy Satterthwaite has been handed over the captaincy duties.
Suzie Bates is the world's top-ranked T20I batter. She will take the responsibility to lead lineup and attack the opponents' bowlers right from the beginning.
Katey Martin is among their most experienced campaigners. The wicketkeeper-batswoman has scored four T20I fifties this year and was adjudged Player of the Series against West Indies women at home earlier this year. It will be up to her to guide his team towards a decent total in case of early jolts.
Except these two, Ferns will also bank on the likes of skipper Amy Satterthwaite and Bernadine to put their best feet forward and score some crucial runs in the middle.
Sophie Devine has done a decent job for White Ferns in T20Is and is among their leading wicket-takers in this format with 72 wickets. All-rounder Bates is expected to cause problems for Indian batswomen. The conditions are expected to suit her bowling style.
Leigh Kasperek and Amelia Kerr will be their other key options and the skipper will need them to chip in with crucial breakthroughs.
Expected Playing XI
Amy Satterthwaite (C), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin or Anna Peterson and Jess Watkin.