Women’s T20 World Cup team-by-team guides
Australia takes on India this Friday to open a World Cup tournament featuring the best cricketing talent on the planet.
It's hard to look beyond the hosts when trying to pick a winner before a ball has been bowled, though recent tight matches and even rare defeats for Meg Lanning's side suggests the margin of their superiority - certainly from perennial challengers India, England, New Zealand and West Indies - is not so great as to be entirely comfortable.
And the fickleness of the shortest form of the game means upsets and shocks are a constant threat to the all the established order. Where do those chief threats come from, and how do the sides stack up?
Captain: Meg Lanning
Coach: Matthew Mott
Best World Cup finish: 4 x winner (2010, 2012, 2014, 2018)
Ellyse Perry - Star with both bat and ball, averaging high 40s for batting and low 20s for bowling in all T20 competitions. Her bowling average falls to 15.42 runs per wicket for T20s played in Australia.
Beth Mooney - The free-scoring 25-year-old had excellent 2019, where she was Australia's leading runscorer with 1244 runs in all T20s.
She will be hungry for more in this tournament.
Sophie Molineux - A highly promising left-arm off-spinner, Molineux has made a strong start to her international career and is averaging around a wicket per game since her T20I debut in March 2018.
She'd love to repeat her match-winning 4/16 against Pakistan in Malaysia.
The four-time winners go into the tournament once again as strong favourites off the back of a tri-series triumph over India and England.
With the bat, since the start of 2019 the Aussies average 37.78 per wicket - an average run rate of 8.27 per over, comfortably the best of the competing teams. Anything less than tournament domination will be considered a failure.
Ladbrokes Odds: $1.60
Captain: Harmanpreet Kaur
Coach: Woorkeri Raman
Best World Cup finish: 3 x semi-finalists (2009, 2010, 2018)
Smriti Mandhana - India's most destructive batter, well known for her effortless power. The left-hander strikes at just under 160 in the death overs of T20I.
Sushma Verma - The 16-year-old sensation has made an excellent start to her T20I career averaging just over 24 in her first 12 games. Her strike rate of 137.30 runs per 100 balls is particularly impressive.
Jemimah Rodrigues - Rodrigues is a 19-year-old middle-order batter with six half-centuries and a highest score of 72 to her name after just 34 T20Is.
She possesses patience and maturity beyond her years to complement an excellent technique and impressive array of strokes
The No.2-ranked ODI team will be looking to stamp their authority on the T20 game, and their ranks of quality spinners will hold the key to their success.
They are the leading wicket-takers in T20 cricket since the start of 2019.
Ladbrokes odds: $6
Captain: Amy Satterthwaite
Coach: Bob Carter
Best World Cup finish: 2 x runners-up (2009, 2010)
Sophie Devine - Averages upwards of 30 and striking at a rate well above 130 runs per 100 balls faced in T20s, she is the world's most consistently destructive T20 player and capable of winning any match she plays in.
Secret weapon/young gun
Amelia Kerr - The young all-rounder has an ODI double hundred to her name and will be looking to stamp her mark on the T20 stage.
In 2018, Kerr burst onto the radar of cricket fans worldwide when she blasted 232 runs from 145 balls and took 5/17 in an ODI vs Ireland - at just 17 years of age. The all-rounder is yet to scale the same heights in T20Is, but all eyes will be on her at this tournament.
Played only five T20s since the start of 2019, but the Kiwis have won all five of those.
The White Ferns will need their experienced players to perform well to get them over the line.
Ladbrokes odds: $13
Captain: Chamari Atapattu
Coach: Harsha de Silva
Best World Cup finish: First round (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
Shashikala Sirawadene - An experienced all-rounder with more than 1000 runs and 70 wickets in T20I. She bowls exceptionally well at left-handers, bowling dot balls with 41.3 per cent of her deliveries and taking a wicket every 17 balls.
Udeshika Prabodhani - The left-arm seam bowler has been quietly accumulating wickets since her debut in 2009 and will likely take the new ball for Sri Lanka. When bowling in the first Powerplay, she bowls dot balls with 60 per cent of her deliveries.
Harshitha Madhavi - Madhavi is undoubtedly a player to watch for the future and this tournament may prove to be a launching pad for a successful long-term international career. In October, the 21-year-old scored a handy 28 against Australia at North Sydney Oval.
Sri Lanka had a disastrous 2019, losing all nine T20Is they played.
Over that time, they averaged only 14.04 runs with the bat per wicket lost, the lowest of any team in this tournament. They also only managed to take a wicket every 44.89 runs conceded, the highest number of any competing team.
TAB odds: $67
Captain: Salma Khatun
Coach: Anju Jain
Best World Cup finish: First round (2014, 2016, 2018)
Nigar Sultana - Bangladesh's most consistent batter, with an average of 22.54 and a T20I high score of 113 not out. She loves facing left-arm orthodox spin and is only dismissed every 62 balls against this bowler type.
Fahima Khatun - This all-rounder is the only player in the Bangladeshi squad to have a strike rate near a run a ball. She also has 30 T20I wickets, with best figures of 4-8.
Nahida Akter - A hugely impressive teenage spinner who already has 47 wickets in 36 T20I matches at an average of 12.40 with best figures of 4/11. Nahida opened the bowling and took two early wickets in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier final win over Thailand.
Bangladesh won 10 of their 13 games in 2019. The three games they lost were against the only top-eight-ranked team they played in that period, Pakistan. They will struggle to win a game in this tournament.
Ladbrokes odds: $151
Captain: Stefanie Taylor
Coach: Gus Logie
Best World Cup finish: Winner (2016)
Stefanie Taylor - Tops the Windies squad bowling and batting averages and is the side's all-time leading T20 runscorer with 2900 runs.
Sakera Selman - Bowls at good pace and could be dangerous on fast Aussie pitches. Keeps it tight too, going at less than a run a ball.
Hayley Matthews - It's hard to believe this powerful batter and wicket-taking off-spinner is still only 21 years of age. Matthews made her T20I debut as a 16-year-old all the way back in 2014 and has since established herself as one of the game's elite players.
A famously mercurial side who on their day can challenge any team in the competition. They have had a poor 14 months leading up to the tournament, however, losing two-thirds of their games since the start of 2019.
Ladbrokes odds: $34
Captain: Sornnarin Tippoch
Coach: Janak Gamage
Best World Cup finish: Qualifier runners-up (2019)
Naruemol Chaiwai - The only player to average above 20 in the squad, Chaiwai has been the linchpin of the Thai batting. She has amassed 644 career T20I runs and occupies the crease for an average of 29 balls per dismissal.
Chanida Sutthiruang - Of the three batters to have a career strike rate above 80, Sutthiruang's is the highest with 86.03. She also has 42 T20I wickets and goes at less than 3.5 runs an over.
Suleeporn Laomi - At the age of 22, Laomi can already match her senior colleagues for experience at the international level.
In 35 T20I matches she has taken 43 wickets with her improving leg-spin, and she could surprise a few of the world's best batters at this tournament.
Well this is just brilliant from New Zealand, coming over to congratulate us on the performance, to give us some tips and to have a chat. Champions on and off the field. #T20WorldCup #EmergingCricket pic.twitter.com/2DF5X7LGId— Cricket Thailand (@ThailandCricket) February 19, 2020
The newcomers to this tournament. They played a lot of T20 cricket in 2019, only losing four of their 25 matches.
Out of the teams featuring in this tournament, they have only played Bangladesh before, and in those three meetings, the Tigers emerged comfortable victors.
Thailand will just be looking forward to featuring in their first ICC tournament, regardless of results.
Ladbrokes odds: $501
Captain: Heather Knight
Coach: Lisa Keightley
Best World Cup finish: Winner (2009)
Dani Wyatt - 2019's leading T20 runscorer and England's highest-striking batter will need to be on fine form if England want to challenge.
Secret weapon/young gun
Sophie Ecclestone - Takes a wicket every 17.3 deliveries bowled, the lowest figure in the squad. Made her T20I debut as a 17-year-old in 2016 and has quickly risen to prominence on the international stage.
Accurate and economical with a knack of picking up wickets, the now 20-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner is ideally suited to this format.
As a team, since the start of last year England have scored the most T20I runs globally, with 2310.
That should stand them in good stead going into this tournament, despite missing out on a place in the tri-series final with Australia and India. Their talent will need to be at their best to challenge.
Ladbrokes odds: $5
Captain: Dane van Niekerk
Coach: Hilton Moreeng
Best World Cup finish: Semi-finalists (2014)
Dane van Niekerk - The skipper has the best T20I batting average (29.72) in the squad and strikes at an impressive rate of 136.28 runs scored every 100 balls faced against pace bowlers at the death.
She also contributes with valuable wickets and has a career economy of 5.40 an over.
Secret weapon/young gun
Nadine de Klerk - The 20-year-old all-rounder has hit the ground running in international cricket, averaging 25.55 with the bat, and although expensive with the ball, takes a wicket every 11 deliveries bowled.
Batting with composure in the middle-order and bowling clever medium-pace, de Klerk has made an immediate impact in her fledgling international career. She picked up 3/18 from four overs in a huge T20I away win over India last year.
The South Africans will be looking to progress out of the Super 12s and into the knockout phases, where anything is possible. They have had a solid year leading up to the tournament, winning 53.3 per cent of their matches, including a 3-1 series win over India in October.
Ladbrokes odds: $17
Captain: Bismah Maroof
Coach: Iqbal Imam
Best World Cup finish: 3 x runners-up (2008, 2011)
Nida Dar - Pakistan's premier all-rounder and leading wicket-taker, fresh from a successful stint with the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL. She took 13 wickets at an average of 16.92 runs, the lowest bowling average in the squad.
Secret weapon/young gun
Sadia Iqbal - The talented but inexperienced slow left-arm bowler has impressed in her first three games, going at five runs per over and taking her wickets at 15.00.
Having picked up a wicket in a tidy spell of left-arm orthodox spin on T20I debut against Bangladesh in October, Sadia snared figures of 3/19 from four probing overs in her next match two days later. Could provide an X factor if given a chance.
Ranked seventh in the world, the Pakistanis are firm outsiders. Since 2019 they have taken their wickets every 28.68 balls, the second-worst of the tournament participants. Their bowling will need to improve to mount a charge on the title, and try to capture some of the tournament magic of their male counterparts.
Ladbrokes odds: $51