India aims to go one better in maiden standalone Women's World T20

Rumeli Dhar, one of the members of the 2010 team that reached the semifinals in West Indies, reckons India could have a crack at the silverware this time if it played to its strength.

The Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian team will be eyeing the silverware when the Women's World T20 gets underway in West Indies from November 9.   -  vivek bendre

As India cricketers walked out of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium that afternoon, they had broad smiles on their faces. After all, they had just beaten Bangladesh by 72 runs to start the Women’s World T20 campaign on a high.

But that celebration was short-lived as the side lost all its remaining three games, failing to make it to the semifinals.

READ: Mithali confident of India's chances in T20 World Cup

Playing at home, the expectations were high and not many could imagine that the side, which had some big names like Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur would fumble.

But the women in blue flattered to deceive and a below-par performance saw the side ending its campaign with a solitary win.

That was in 2016.

But the ever-improving Indian women cricketers were becoming household names as evidenced by the large crowd that thronged the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi to watch the host side take on arch-rival Pakistan.

However, the vociferous support wasn't enough to buoy India which, despite having a balanced squad, came up short save a few individual performances.

READ: Jemimah charged up for women’s World T20

The lean patch brought back memories of the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh where the team had managed just two wins in the league—against West Indies and the host side — while losing the remaining two. It, however, got the better of Pakistan in the playoff game for the 2016 T20 Qualifier.

The side had a disastrous outing in the 2012 edition as well where, captained by Mithali, India suffered defeats in all of its three league games, but managed to register a narrow win over Sri Lanka in the qualification match for the 2014 World Cup.

READ: Indian women eye T20 World Cup glory

India's brightest moment in the tournament, though, came in the West Indies in 2010, when it reached the semifinals, before losing to Australia.

But the side showed potential and proved that it was no pushover in the shortest format of the game. Now, as another sojourn in the Caribbean beckons, Rumeli Dhar, one of the members of the 2010 team, says that the conditions in the West Indies are similar to  India.

“The wickets were very good and there was not much problem in 2010. It was in fact quite easy for us. That should help the side,” Dhar said.

Though the event is happening quite late in the year, Dhar is optimistic of India’s chances. “The way the team is faring, there won’t be any problem. If they play to their strength, then they can make it to the final this time," she said.

It has been eight long years since India qualified for the semifinals in a World T20, and now, as a star-studded side gears up for yet another outing in the Caribbean, the Women in Blue will be hoping to go one better.

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