Women’s T20 World Cup: India’s steadfast teen soldiers – cricket

ICC web site’s web page on the Indian ladies’s staff has a video of Jemimah Rodrigues from the 2018 T20 World Cup in West Indies, the place {the teenager} is speaking about her urge to mature quick in a dressing room filled with seniors. She was 17 then. As India begin within the T20 World Cup, in opposition to hosts and defending champions Australia on Friday, almost one-third of the 15-member squad is in Rodrigues’ age-group. Four are youngsters—Shafali Verma (16), Richa Ghosh (16), Rodrigues (19) and Radha Yadav (19) – and Pooja Vastrakar turned 20 5 months in the past.

Should India go deep within the T20 World Cup—they’ve been dropping semi-finalists thrice—so much would rely on these younger gamers. Over the previous three years, India has seen a constant rise with the ODI staff reaching the World Cup remaining in 2017 and the T20 aspect ending among the many prime 4 within the World Cup subsequent yr. Two necessary members of these groups, Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj, have since retired from the shortest format.

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The Indian ladies’s staff has typically proven a knack of attempting out children in T20s. India’s T20 World Cup squads within the final two editions had two youngsters every with the 2018 roster additionally having 4 20-year-olds.

Verma is an opener, Rodrigues often bats on the No. three or No. four and Yadav is a left-arm spinner. Ghosh, a rookie, is one other prime-order batsman whereas Vastrakar is a proper-arm medium pacer. Because of the quintet, the Indian staff’s common age is underneath 23.

“Young players come with a fresh thinking. They don’t have anything behind them. They know nothing. They’re very different people to who we were when we came into the side at 17. They are very fearless; they don’t have a lot of pressure on them. They think like it’s any other match and coming into a World Cup, that’s the best thing about them,” Smriti Mandhana, one other prime-order mainstay for India, instructed the ICC just lately.

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Mandhana should know a factor or two about being younger and fearless. At 21, she was instrumental in India’s entry into the semi-finals in 2018. With 178 in 5 matches, she completed third highest scorer amongst all groups. Rodrigues scored 125 in 5 video games. Verma, who had the very best strike-charge of 137.83 amongst Indians within the just lately-held tri-nation collection in Australia, is one other important part within the batting line-up. It could be fascinating to see if Ghosh, a shock decide, makes the XI after debuting within the Tri-nation collection remaining in opposition to Australia.

“In today’s era, age on either side is just a number. It’s about the talent, what they can do, what they can bring to the table as far as the requirement of the team is concerned. So I don’t think we should necessarily focus on the age part of it,” mentioned WV Raman, India coach, earlier than departing for Australia.

“If we’re talking about somebody like Shafali, who is 16, we all have heard of the adage saying, ‘young cubs know no fear’. So this is a brand of cricket we look to play and it is a format where we need to be positive.”

Since her debut in 2019, Verma has performed 14 T20Is and scored 324 runs. Along with Rodrigues, the duo should present help to the likes of Mandhana and captain Harmanpreet Kaur.

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“We need a lot more people with fresh minds and with a lot of positivity, with no fear at all. I think that’ll be a big advantage and they complement the more experienced predators like Smriti, Harman and Veda (Krishnamurthy). So, this is a good blend I think,” mentioned Raman.

With a shaky center-order, it’s the highest order and the bowlers that India would depend on to placed on a constant show.

Apart from Shikha Pandey, India typically don’t fairly go along with a pacer in T20s. It could be fascinating if Vastrakar makes the lower within the enjoying XI, after lacking the 2018 version with harm. The squad has fairly a couple of spinners with Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad main the assault. Supporting them could be Yadav, who holds the No. three spot within the ICC T20I rankings and made it the ICC T20I staff of the yr in 2019.

“Spinners are doing quite well. I’m excited about the spinners and what they are going to bring for the team. The message for the youngsters is that to play their natural game without any pressure,” mentioned Kaur.

Aussies get a jolt

Australia acquired a blow when tempo bowler Tayla Vlaeminck was dominated out of the event with a foot harm. Vlaeminck was a probable starter for Friday’s match in opposition to India till she succumbed to the stress harm in her proper foot. She would get replaced by off-spinner Molly Strano, Cricket Australia instructed Reuters.

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