ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020: New Zealand Team Preview
Despite being the third-ranked T20I team, it will be tough for the White Ferns to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020.
New Zealand bounced back to win the T20I series against South Africa after getting clean swept in the ODIs. Their top two batters led the way. Sophie Devine was the top-scorer for the team with 357 runs from 7 white-ball games including T20Is and ODIs. She scored her runs at an average of 60 and a devastating average of 125 + along with 30 fours and 16 sixes.
Suzie Bates was also among the runs but was not as flamboyant. She scored 237 runs from seven innings at an average of close to 50 and a strike rate of 85.
Leg spinner Amelia Kerr was the star for them in the series and picked up 6 wickets from 7 games. All-rounder Sophie Devine complemented her well with 6 wickets from 7 games as well.
The White Ferns included two uncapped players – Jess Kerr and Rosemary Mair in their squad. Led by Sophie Devine, they will look to right the wrongs of a disappointing run at the last coupe of ICC events. Having missed the semi-finals of the 2017 ODI Cup and the 2018 T20 event, the team will aim for the semis to begin with.
Devine has stepped into the captaincy in place of regular skipper Amy Satterthwaite, who recently gave birth to her first child with fellow teammate Lea Tahuhu.
While Tahuhu has returned to the fold after missing New Zealand’s ODI series against South Africa owing to a maternity leave, Satterthwaite remains unavailable.
Squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Lea Tahuhu
After suffering a defeat in the ODIs, New Zealand came back strongly in the T20I series against South Africa. They team won it 3-1 after the final match was abandoned due to rain.
Record in T20 World Cups
New Zealand had a great outing in the inaugural edition of the Women's T20 World Cup in 2009 and made it to the finals. However, they got bowled out for just 80 against England and ended as runners-up. Next year, once again, the team was dominant throughout the the tournament and made to the finals only to be deprived of the trophy by Australia, owing to an 83-run loss.
In the 2012 edition, New Zealand lost at the hands of England in the semi-final. 2014 was the first time when New Zealand failed to qualify for the knockouts. All through the 2016 group stage, New Zealand were unbeaten but when it came to the semi-finals, they could not continue their good run and perished.
In the last edition of the tournament, with two wins and two losses from four games, the White Ferns failed to qualify for the knockouts.
New Zealand are placed at the third spot in the revised T20I rankings with 4963 points and 276 ratings. They are behind Australia and England while India and West Indies are below them.
Skipper Suzie Bates finds herself at the top of the batting charts with opening partner Sophie Devine just below her at the second spot.
Amelia Kerr is at the 6th place in the bowlers' rankings while Leigh Kasperek is at the 9th spot. Sophie Devine finds herself at the 2nd spot in the all-rounder rankings.
Sophie Devine - "Women’s cricket is in a pretty special place at the moment with so much investment going on around the world, especially with New Zealand cricket. It’s a fantastic time to be a female athlete, so I’m just enjoying every opportunity to get out on the park and wear the silver fern with pride. It’s pretty special when it’s something that I know a lot of the girls in the whole country are going to get right behind.
"You’ve got to earn the right to win the World Cup and we know we’ve got a massive task at hand, but we’re certainly up for the challenge as we’ve been targeting this event for a while now. We’ve been playing a lot of T20 cricket, both here and abroad, so it’s certainly exciting times for us, but it’s the dream to lift that trophy come 8 March."
Prediction - End third in Group A after the league stage, failed attempt at semi-final qualification
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