Australia, India set for WT20WC opener
ICC Women's T20 World Cup
Australia v India, match 1
Sydney Showground, Sydney
Friday, February 21; 19:00 local, 08:00 GMT
Australia are the No.1-ranked T20I side in the world and already have won four titles since the inception of the tournament in 2010. The defending champions are one of the tournament favourites, and will be keen to add more silverware to the cabinet by winning their first title at home this year.
The hosts faced a major blow on the eve of the opening fixture as their fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck was ruled out of the tournament with a stress injury in her foot. She's been replaced by off-spinner Molly Strano. Strano comes in with excellent WBBL figures, and was successful against India in the 'A' series between the sides recently.
While the first warm-up for both Australia and India were abandoned in Brisbane, the hosts won their second warm-up against South Africa in the last over while India sealed a dramatic two-run victory in a low-scoring game against West Indies.
Remember the last time
Earlier this month, the two sides featured in the final of the women's tri-series, which also included England. While India won one group game against Meg Lanning's team, Australia took the title after beating India by 11 runs at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.
Australia posted 155/6 from their 20 overs courtesy Beth Mooney's blazing 54-ball 71*. Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked up two wickets apiece for their side. In response, India lost three wickets inside the first 10 overs but opener Smriti Mandhana stayed firm. She top-scored with a fiery 37-ball 66 which was studded with 12 fours before she was dismissed by Megan Schutt in the 15th over.
Spinner Jess Jonassen then wrecked havoc, running through India's middle order and the tail. Jonassen returned a match-winning 5/12 as India were bowled out for 144.
“We all know that everyone in India loves cricket, wherever we go we always have our fans out there supporting and we are looking forward to that.”— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) February 20, 2020
Harmanpreet Kaur is eagerly waiting for 🇮🇳's #T20WorldCup opener against 🇦🇺 👇 https://t.co/a2RyRymEyb
What they said
Meg Lanning, Australia captain: "It looks like it will be a really good wicket, the groundsman was really happy with it so hopefully it creates a really good contest and is even for both sides."
Harmanpreet Kaur, India captain: "If you want to win a big tournament like the World Cup, you have to come up as a team and that's what we're looking to do."
A partly cloudy evening with a 40% chance of light showers. The pitch is known for assisting slow bowlers but with the overcast conditions, there'll be something for the quicks as well. The sides feature some of the top hitters of the format, so it will be interesting to see how they do. All in all, an entertaining contest awaits at the Sydney Showground.
Last tickets released for tonight’s opening match and celebration. Adults from $20 kids just $5 at tickets.t20worldcup.com.
Soak up the T20 World Cup atmosphere from 4pm at the fanzone adjacent to Sydney Showground Stadium. Take your seats by 6pm to enjoy the pre-match entertainment.