England women go into the World Cup T20 with a different mindset altogether. Out of the 21 women listed on the ECB contracts, only 11 made it to the 15-member squad for the showpiece event in Caribbean beginning in November.
The team is led by an able captain in Heather Knight under whose leadership the team won the WODI World Cup trophy in 2017. But England are going to miss the services of Sarah Taylor, whose record speaks for itself. She is struggling with anxiety issues and has taken a break from cricket.
Form leading into 2018 WT20
England are in red-hot form. They have won their last T20I as well as ODI series. In the tri-nation T20I series involving South Africa and New Zealand, they lost just one game, against South Africa by 6 wickets. Apart from that, they registered three wins with authority and dominance written all over them. In the league games, they won two matches by 54 and 121 runs and then defeated New Zealand in the final by 7 wickets.
World T20 history
England won the first edition of the tournament in 2009, which was an eight-nation affair. They defeated New Zealand by 6 wickets to clinch the trophy.
They missed out on securing the final berth in next edition but they played two finals again in 2012 and 2014, losing the chance to lay their hands on the trophy to Australia on both the occasions.
The stats state that England have won 18 games out of the 24 they have played in the tournament's short history and lost just 5, while one game was a tie. This record gives England a much-needed boost as they pursue yet another journey towards the title.
Player(s) to watch out for
While there is ample experience in the squad in form of Danielle Hazell, Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole, Jenny Gunn, and Knight herself, the inclusion of three uncapped players is what makes the side more exuberant and more importantly, brings an element of surprise. Sophia Dunkley, Linsey Smith and Kirstie Gordon are the new faces in the team.
Smith and Gordon are both left-arm orthodox spinners, and they will play a pivotal role in containing the batters on the slow tracks in the Caribbean. Dunkley provides the much-needed boost at No 6 or 7 in the batting order and can also play the role of finisher effectively.
The Heather Knight-led side will be looking to grab another title to their list of achievements. They have a strong unit and are in good form as well. These factors should easily take them to the last four of the tournament. From there on, it all comes down to which team handles pressure better. But England are clearly one of the favourities to lift the title.
10 November at St Lucia: England vs Sri Lanka
12 November at St Lucia: England vs Bangladesh
16 November at St Lucia: England vs South Africa
18 November at St Lucia: England vs Windies
Heather Knight (c) Katherine Brunt, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Eccelstone, Tash Farrant, Kirstie Gordon, Jenny Gunn, Dani Hazell, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver, Linsey Smith, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont
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