After the conclusion of first ever Women’s T20 challenge 2018 IPL Trailblazers vs IPL Supernovas match, the brand new season of women’s cricket will kick into full gear with the Women’s Asia Cup T20I set to be played in Malaysia between June 3 and June 10. This year’s tournament will see see six countries, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand participate in it and will be played in a single round robin format where teams will play against each other once and top 2 teams will play the final.
A fact worth noting here is that this year’s tournament will be the seventh edition of Women’s Asia Cup but only the third to be played in T20 format.
The respective squads for the all the six participating nations have already been announced and along with all the top Indian players, fans will also be eager to watch leading stars from Pakistan in action.
Ahead of the Women’s Asia Cup T20I 2018, we list down 5 players who can make a difference in the tournament:
5 players to watch out for in Women’s Asia Cup 2018:
1. Harmanpreet Kaur (India)
Harmanpreet Kaur is the captain of Indian women’s T20 team and has the potential to emerge as the marquee player in this year’s Women’s Asia Cup T20I. Harmanpreet made her debut in the shortest format against England in 2009 and is now an experienced campaigner with 77 T20I matches and 1401 runs under her belt. This top order batter from India can take the attack to any opposition on her day and will always be remembered for her memorable knock of 171 runs in last year’s ODI World Cup against Australia.
Her handy off-spin bowling is another big plus and Harmanpreet Kaur will certainly be one of the players to watch out for at the 2018 ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20I.
2. Mithali Raj (India)
The highest run-getter in women’s cricket, Mithali Raj will be another player worth keeping an eye on at the Women’s Asia Cup T20I in Malaysia. Captain of India’s Test and ODI teams, Mithali has been stupendous for years and was also in a good form in the South Africa series in February. The 35-year-old veteran also has a history of doing well in this competition as she was the ‘Player Of The Series’ in the Asia Cup 2016 with 220 runs and an average of 110. Mithali averages over 50 in T20I cricket while chasing and has perfected the art of playing the role of an anchor in almost every game with perfection.
With loads of experience and a winning mentality, Mithali Raj will most certainly be one of the players to watch out for at the upcoming Women’s Asia Cup T20I tournament.
3. Smriti Mandhana (India)
Mithali Raj’s trusted lieutenant and partner at the top of the order for India, young Smriti Mandhana is India’s vice-captain and will come into the tournament in formidable batting form. Just 21 years of age, Smriti has forged a reputation as the Virender Sehwag of the women’s game as she is known for her ability to hit the ball a long way and take the attack to opposition bowlers from the first ball. Smriti helps her team to flying starts by scoring plenty of runs in the initial powerplay overs when the ball is new and hard.
Having also played in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), Smriti Mandhana is now a revered name in the T20 circuit and has to be on this list of players who can make an impact at the 2018 Women’s Asia Cup T20I.
4. Bismah Maroof (Pakistan)
Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof, now 26, first played for her country when she was merely 15 years of age and has been a shining light for her team ever since. Bismah, born in Lahore, is a batting all-rounder, with a left-handed batting style and right-arm legbreak bowling style. In October 2017, she was made captain of the Pakistan team and has slowly but surely united the team under her watchful eyes.
Along with senior pro Sana Mir, Bismah Maroof will have to stand up and lead from the front if Pakistan are to go one step further this time around and lift the Women’s Asia Cup T20I trophy in Kuala Lampur in June 10.
5. Winifred Anne Duraisingam (Malaysia)
25-year-old Winifred Anne Duraisingam will be at the forefront of host nation Malaysia’s challenge at the Women’s Asia Cup T20I and will be captaining the side. Born in Selangor, Duraisingam has the charisma and leadership qualities to lead the team, as she also displayed at the 29th SEA Games Women’s T20 championship. Winnie, as she is fondly known, started cricket at the tender age of 9 playing with her brothers and friends on the streets and has since emerged as a reliable opening bowler for Malaysia.
Having accumulated some much needed experience over the years, Duraisingam has honed her skills and now plays as a genuine all-rounder. Winifred Anne Duraisingam caps off our list of players to watch out for at the Women’s Asia Cup T20I.