Women’s World Cup: Stars to watch out for

Sportstar takes a look at top-10 players who could create a buzz in this year’s tournament

Published : Mar 02, 2022 17:29 IST

Smriti Mandhana of India
Smriti Mandhana of India

Smriti Mandhana of India

The Women’s 50-over World Cup returns after five years and it is a perfect opportunity for the players across the globe to prove their mettle. While for many, this will be the first big-ticket assignment, the World Cup in New Zealand will also be a swansong for a few seasoned campaigners. Sportstar takes a look at top-10 players who could create a buzz in this year’s tournament.

Records in Women's World Cups

Smriti Mandhana (India): Many in the cricketing fraternity believe that Smriti Mandhana could be India’s all-format captain over the next few years, and in her illustrious international career, Mandhana has stamped her class with the willow. Emerging as one of the most talked about batters in the world, Mandhana missed out on the large part of the bilateral series against New Zealand due to COVID-19 protocols, but she had stupendous outings across formats last year, and India’s chances rely heavily on her.

Tahlia McGrath of Australia bats

Tahlia McGrath (Australia): When it comes to Australian cricket, Tahlia McGrath is the one to watch out for. A specialist wicket-taker, McGrath also had a good outing with the bat, averaging 42.3 since the beginning of 2021. Aware of the conditions, McGrath’s experience will come in handy for Australia in the tournament. Over the last few years, she has been a consistent performer and in the World Cup, the team will expect a lot from her.

Sophie Ecclestone of England

Sophie Ecclestone (England): In the ICC ODI bowlers’ rankings, Sophie Ecclestone has been in the first three slots, and in the World Cup, she will play a key role in England’s campaign. Ecclestone has taken 52 wickets over the last five years, and has an impressive economy rate of just 3.7. England will be keen on defending the title it won in 2017 and if it aims to perform well in the tournament, it needs to ensure that Ecclestone is in shape.

Deandra Dottin of West Indies

Deandra Dottin (West Indies): One of the dominant batters in world cricket, West Indies’ Deandre Dottin has been in the international circuit since 2008. In 2010, Dottin became the first woman cricketer to score a T20I century, and there hasn’t been looking back since. She has emerged as one of the key players of the team and ahead of the World Cup, she scored an unbeaten 150 against South Africa to prove that she is gearing up for the major event.

Kate Cross of England

Kate Cross (England): In the 2017 World Cup, Kate Cross missed out on an England berth, but the genuinely talented all-rounder will be one of the important players for the team in this edition of the tournament. The seamer grabbed her first five-wicket haul in ODIs against India last summer, which earned her the player-of-the-match award. Since then she has been a regular wicket-taker for England, while also significantly contributing with the willow.

Amelia Kerr of New Zealand

Amelia Kerr (New Zealand): At 21, Amelia Kerr is the second-youngest player in the New Zealand squad. But over the years, she has turned heads with her outstanding performances. In the history of women’s ODIs, Kerr remains the highest scorer — unbeaten 232 against Ireland in 2018. And even after that, Kerr has been a regular performer. Recently, she scored fifty-plus scores in the ODIs to prove that she is ready for the challenge.

READ:  Women's World Cup: India's full schedule, fixture list

Richa Ghosh of India

Richa Ghosh (India): The youngster from Siliguri is just seven ODIs old, but she has already proved her talent. She had successful outings against Australia last year, and ever since, she has played a fair bit of franchise cricket to gain experience. As she gets ready for the World Cup, Richa had good outings against New Zealand, where she had scores of 65 and 52 off 29 balls — the fastest fifty by an Indian woman batter.

Rumana Ahmed of Bangladesh

Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh): 42 fixtures, 39 innings, 893 runs — that’s how Rumana Ahmed’s ODI career looks like. And as Bangladesh gears up for the World Cup, all eyes will be on the all-rounder. Ever since making her debut in 2011, Rumana has proved her mettle as a middle-order batter and since 2019, has also emerged as one of the genuine all-rounders. In ODIs, she has bagged 45 wickets — the highest by a Bangladeshi women cricketer.

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa

Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa): At 22, Wolvaardt has emerged as one of the main batters for South Africa. Following a successful outing against the West Indies, where she amassed 171 runs in four games, Wolvaardt will be hoping to make the most of the opportunity in the World Cup. Having featured in 66 ODIs, she has scored 2482 runs — including three tons, and her vast experience will come in handy for the team. In the 2017 World Cup, she had scored 324 runs and was the top-scorer for her side, and this time, too, all eyes will be on Wolvaardt.

Bismah Maroof of Pakistan

Bismah Maroof (Pakistan): One of the seasoned campaigners, Bismah Maroof will have to lead from the front if Pakistan wishes to achieve success in the World Cup. As the captain of the team, she knows that the game against India will be one of the most talked about fixtures and a win there could motivate her team immensely. Keeping that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Maroof and her team handle the situation. Playing in the conditions of New Zealand could be a challenge, but with vast experience, Maroof has the ability to emerge as a match-winner.

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