Women’s World Cup 2022: Amelia Kerr, Tahlia McGrath and other players who could have a major impace – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

The 12th edition of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup is just around the corner, with hosts New Zealand set to take on West Indies in the lung opener just three days from now.

The tournament is somewhat underway already if you count the warmup matches as part of the action as well, with 2017 runners-up India winning both their practice games against South Africa and West Indies respectively. Besides India, New Zealand and Australia too have played two games each, winning and losing one each, while England and Bangladesh take on South Africa and Pakistan respectively in the final round of warmup games on Tuesday.

India, who are yet to win the most prestigious trophy in the women’s game and have twice finished runners-up in the past, will later get their campaign underway in a blockbuster opening clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.

Four days later, they face the White Ferns, whom they had beaten comprehensively in the 2017 World Cup. New Zealand, though, will enter this contest with the upper hand, having won the recent ODI series against Mithali Raj’s side 4-1 right before the tournament.

As we build towards the grand event, we take a look at some of the players from the remaining seven teams who could pose a threat for the Indians in the upcoming tournament:

Shabnim Ismail (South Africa): The South African seamer sent out a warning to opposition batters in the build-up to the World Cup with back-to-back four-wicket hauls against the West Indies at Johannesburg last month. Ismail was the joint-highest wicket-taker in that series alongside Ayabonga Khaka, though her marginally better strike rate put her on top of the chart.

Ismail, considered the quickest and one of the most lethal bowlers in the women’s game, will be entrusted with leading the Proteas attack in the World Cup and her recent form certainly bodes well for the Proteas as far as their ambitions of winning a maiden World Cup is concerned.

Amelia Kerr (New Zealand): The 21-year-old all-rounder was in sparkling form in the recently-concluded ODI series against India at home right before the World Cup. Kerr finished the leading run-getter with 353 runs to her credit, 121 more than Mithali Raj who finished second in the list, along with an average and strike rate of 117.66 and 97.51 respectively.

Amelia Kerr was the leading run-scorer in the recently-concluded ODI series against India. Twitter @ICC

And it wasn’t just the bat that did the talking for her, as Kerr also finished third in the bowling charts with seven wickets to her name, including a 3/30 in the fourth ODI in which she also struck an unbeaten 68.

Kerr then brought her roaring batting form into the warmup game against Australia, her unbeaten 92 helping the White Ferns successfully chase the 322-run target down with nine wickets and nearly seven overs to spare.

Tahlia McGrath (Australia): Ever since she cemented her place in the side following a series of good performances against India at home, McGrath has become a reliable option both with bat and ball for the Southern Stars.

That consistency was visible in her performances in the Ashes that took place over the Australian summer as she finished the leading wicket-taker in both the one-dayers and T20Is, collecting nine wickets in five games across the white-ball formats. She was also quite the handy middle-order bat, as he unbeaten 91 off just 49 balls in the first T20I (in which she also registered figures of 3/26) would suggest.

In a team full of legends such as Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Megan Schutt, McGrath might very well turn out to be their MVP and one of their key performers in their quest for an unprecedented seventh ODI World Cup win.

Nat Sciver (England): A consistent run scorer in the middle order whose seam bowling skills come in handy more often than not and also happens to be one of the best fielders in the modern game, Sciver has established herself as a vital cog in the England team.

File image of England cricketer Nat Sciver. Image courtesy: Twitter/@ICC

File image of England cricketer Nat Sciver. Image courtesy: Twitter/@ICC

Sciver has had a consistent run since last summer; she was a constant thorn in the flesh for the touring Indians, finishing among the top three in both the ODIs and T20Is against the Women in Blue and also collecting the most wickets (3) in the 20-over games.

In the one-day leg of the Ashes in which most of the visiting batters struggled to get going, Sciver finished the top run-scorer after collecting a couple of 40s.

In the warmup game against Bangladesh, Sciver reminded opposition teams of her all-round capabilities, her knock of 108 helping England post 310/9 before taking two wickets for just 12 runs to restrict Bangladesh to 201.

Deandra Dottin (West Indies): Opening batter Dottin is one of the most experienced campaigners in this World Cup, having represented the West Indies in more than a 100 matches in both ODIs and T20Is.

And the 30-year-old, who made her international debut in 2008, could not have asked for a better recent run with the bat, finishing the top run-scorer in West Indies’ most recent one-day campaigns against South Africa and Pakistan, Dottin scoring 405 runs in seven games across the two series with two tons — including an unbeaten 150 at Jo’burg.

The West Indians will be hoping she’s able to carry that form over to the World Cup, and guide the team to solid starts and lay the foundation for match-winning totals.

Click here to read profiles of all Indian players

Click here for our full coverage of the 2022 Women’s World Cup

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