ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020: Debutants Thailand hoping for big upsets in Australia
Thailand will win hearts at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 but head coach Harshal Pathak feels they can claim a scalp too.
The Asian outfit launched a walking, talking cricketing fairytale after sealing qualification for a maiden global tournament at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier in Scotland last year.
Ranked 11th in the world, Thailand aren’t used to losing - they’ve broken records with a 17-game winning run - and Pathak feels victory here is well within their capabilities.
“Of course, we can win a game at this tournament,” he said.
“We have come to Australia to look to win some games. We have to do the little things correctly, and the results will come.
“We are basically here to compete. And when you’re competing, the game teaches you some lessons.
“We are looking to learn from those and get better.”
Thailand will face some of the tournament’s big guns in Group B, including former World Cup champions England and the West Indies.
Their association have left no stone unturned in preparation, with a Development Squad touring Australia in December and going up against WBBL teams.
The team’s top batters also took part in a closed training camp in Pune, led by Pathak, to work on their technique.
Openers Natthakan Chantam and Naruemol Chaiwai are guaranteed to catch the eye and their aggressive approach could catch established nations out from the off.
No player scored more T20I runs than Chaiwai in 2019 and Chantam’s unbeaten 82 in a landmark victory over India A was one of several defining innings.
Chantam is a devoted student of the game and models her approach on England’s Danni Wyatt, so the chance to go up against the fellow opener is a dream come true.
“In the powerplay, all the fielders are up and everywhere there is a big gap for me to hit a boundary,” she said.
“It’s a chance to score runs quickly. My mentality is to look to hit four runs through the gaps.
“My plan is different to Chaiwai’s. I only try to hit along the ground and get her on strike when I can. She can be very dangerous.
“My favourite player to watch is Wyatt and I can’t wait to watch her play against us. I like how aggressive and confident she is at the crease.”
©Cricket World 2020