India women's team are set to start their T20 World Cup 2023 campaign on February 12 with the opening match against Pakistan. The Indian team which secured a maiden final finish in the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup, will now eye to acquire the World Cup title with the tournament.
Ahead of the tournament which will begin on February 10, former skipper Mithali Raj shared the strategy for Team India's chances of winning the title. According to her, it will depend largely on the top order's form.
"India’s chances will be largely dependent on the top order. Smriti Mandhana is playing well and is a match-winner," Mithali wrote in her column for the ICC. "Harmanpreet Kaur has looked in good form too but we have to beat Australia and England you need other batters to come to the party," she added.
India recently finished second in a Tri-series against hosts South Africa and West Indies. They will be fielding a relatively inexperienced pace unit barring veteran Shikha Pandey.
"The bowling will be tested and that is where we need to see an improvement," Mithali added.
The 40-year-old hopes the U19 World Cup-winning duo of Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh make use of the knowledge.
"I hope Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh also have a good run at the World Cup considering they have gained so much experience of the conditions in South Africa. I am excited about some of the young players coming through and there is definitely some talent in the Under-19s team which I had the chance to see play at the inaugural ICC Under-19s Women’s T20 World Cup," she said.
According to Mithali's opinion, defending champions Australia are favourites to win the event for an unprecedented sixth time.
"I think everyone would agree that Australia are the favourites, and deservedly so. I am expecting, tight, competitive matches. They are so difficult to beat because they bat deep and have an excellent batting line-up, she said.
However, Mithali feels India have a knack for producing their best against Australia.
"We saw recently that when they toured India although that was a very competitive series but when it came down to it, more often than not, it was Australia who came out on top. While Australia are definitely favourites, we have seen India and England play some of their best cricket in the knockout stages of tournaments so I would not write them off. India also have the knack of bringing their best against Australia," she concluded.