Harmanpreet Kaur's side aiming to go all the way in South Africa - India preview
Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Anjali Sarvani, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey.
Reserves: Sabbhineni Meghana, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh.
12 February v Pakistan at Newlands, Cape Town
15 February v West Indies at Newlands, Cape Town
18 February v England at St George's Park, Gqeberha
20 February v Ireland at St George's Park, Gqeberha
Key fixture - West Indies
Alongside England, India are favourites to make the semi-finals from Group 2. Ireland, Pakistan and West Indies are the others in the group. A win over England in the group clash would greatly enhance India's confidence, but that match comes after they face West Indies and Pakistan earlier in the tournament. The biggest challenge to India's spot in the semi-finals are the West Indies and a win over them would be a great boost to Harmanpreet Kaur's side before they face England.
Best finish - Runner up (2020)
A brilliant run to the finals in the most recent edition of the tournament was India's best ever, but they fell short in the last hurdle, losing out to a dominant Australia side. An undefeated run in the group stages, where they also beat the eventual finalists and title winners Australia, made India strong candidates to walk away with the trophy. The threatening four-prong spin attack was the best in the tournament and everything had gone India's way until the final.
On a quickish MCG surface in the final, though, India were blown away by an Alyssa Healy special. The 184/4 that Australia posted became the highest total in a women's T20 world tournament final. In the run chase, India faltered early and never really recovered, finishing their innings on a disappointing 99.
Last 10 T20I Results
(Most recent first) L, W, NR, W, W, L, L, L, W, L
Key Player - Deepti Sharma
The all-rounder is the in-form player for India heading into the T20 World Cup with impressive recent performances in the shortest format of the game. Deepti averages 38.09 with the bat from her last 30 T20Is and is the leading wicket-taker by some distance for India in women's T20Is since 2022.
Ranked just below Ashleigh Gardner in the MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Rankings for all-rounders, Deepti has risen up in spectacular fashion in recent times with her performances. Her ability to accelerate in the middle and death overs makes her a valuable option down the order.
She led the wickets chart recently in the tri-series in South Africa, taking nine wickets at an economy rate of 5.56.
India have had a mixed run in women's T20Is over the last year and the recent loss in the tri-series final against South Africa was one that brought forth chinks in their T20I batting template. That said, it came in the absence of two of their most attacking batters in Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh.
The recent triumph in the U19 Women's T20 World Cup underlines the depth of talent in the country and the senior squad itself reflects that with a good blend of youth and experience.
Despite the mixed results in the format, India remain one of the favourites to make the final four and go on to win the title, something they have never achieved before at an ICC event as the senior women's team. The inspirational title win in the U19 event should inspire them to make it a double in South Africa in February.