ICC Women's World Cup team guide: Australia, England, India, New Zealand in part one
By Francis Kelly
Last Updated: 23/06/17 8:18pm
The ICC Women's World Cup begins on Saturday when England Women take on India Women, live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports Mix.
But which team will take the tournament by storm? Who will fire with the bat? Who will impress with the ball? And who will win?
Here are some of the players to look out for in part one of our team guide. Coming up in part two- Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
In short… Nine of the 15 world tournaments played in women's cricket have been won by Australia and they are once again considered among the best-placed sides to take the World Cup in England. The current title-holders boast the top two leading run-scorers in the Women's Championship - the World Cup qualifying competition - however, their bowlers will need to be at their best if Australia are to add more silverware to their collection.
Top-scorer: Meg Lanning. The only player to surpass four figures with the bat in the Women's Championship, Lanning finished 247 runs ahead of the next highest run-scorer, team-mate Ellyse Perry. The Australian captain hit five centuries on the way to booking her side a spot at the World Cup, three more than any other batter.
Wicket-taker: Megan Schutt. The top wicket-taker in the 2013 edition of this tournament, fast-bowler Schutt leads an Australian pace unit struck by injuries this time out, and will need to repeat her form of four years ago if Australia are to prevail.
One to watch: Ellyse Perry. With injuries to her hamstring and elbow at the beginning of the year now overcome, Perry is set on winning her fifth major tournament. If her first match in England is anything to go by, an unofficial warm-up with New Zealand where she a century and took 2-32, then all-rounder Perry is to enjoy a fruitful tournament.
Squad list: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.
In short... Although enjoying home advantage and an adventurous playing style, this team is relatively young and only 12 months into Heather Knight's captaincy. Ambitions are rightly set on winning their first global tournament title in nine years, but they'll need to not let the pressure get to them on the big stage if they are to succeed.
Top-scorer: Tammy Beaumont. Brought back into the England fold under coach Mark Robinson, Beaumont has quickly developed into a precocious opening bat. If she can replicate her record-breaking form from last summer - when she hit her maiden ODI century and backed it up with a second hundred in the next game to become the first England woman to achieve back-to-back one-day tons - her name will certainly be near the top of the run-scoring charts.
Wicket-taker: Katherine Brunt. One of only three members of the current squad to lift the World Cup trophy the last time England won it back in 2009, Yorkshire's Brunt still offers unnerving pace bowling even in her 13th year of international cricket.
One to watch: Nat Sciver. While England's opening pair has attracted much of the plaudits for the revitalised batting under Robinson, it is Sciver who possesses the greatest potential to change a game with her big hitting. She is also a very handy medium-pacer. Expect fireworks with the bat and cartwheeling stumps when she bowls.
Squad list: Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont (wk), Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Danielle Hazell, Beth Langston, Laura Marsh, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor (wk), Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt.
In short… A revolution - that's how skipper Mithali Raj described a potential India World Cup win, and it would certainly be transformative for cricket in the country if they were to be victorious. While that is unlikely to happen, they do have a few youngsters full of potential to supplement a strong core that's played together for a long time.
Top-scorer: Mithali Raj. Expect Raj to go big this tournament in what could be her last as captain of India. She relinquished the T20 captaincy last October and there is talk of similar happening with the ODI team after this summer. She also needs a mere 212 runs to pass Charlotte Edwards as the ODI top run-scorer.
Wicket-taker: Jhulan Goswami. Much is expected of the leading women's ODI wicket-taker as India enter the World Cup here with only three recognised seamers. Just like Raj, this is probably Goswami's final World Cup, and the 34-year-old will want to bow out in style.
One to watch: Jhulan Goswami. Bowling in England has proved prosperous for Goswami in the past and, with a small Indian pace attack, the team will be looking to their experienced hand to make early inroads. Also, keep an eye out for record-breaking young all-rounder Deepti Sharma.
Squad list: Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram, Shikha Pandey, Nuzhat Parween (wk), Mithali Raj (c), Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (wk), Poonam Yadav.
In short… Favourites. Seventeen years have passed since New Zealand last won a major tournament, however, they start this World Cup as front-runners. The most balanced squad in the competition, New Zealand also benefit from four of their prominent players having spent large portions of the summer in England already playing domestic cricket and acclimatising to the conditions early.
Top-scorer: Suzie Bates. Player of the tournament in 2013, when she also topped the most runs chart with 407, Bates is currently the reigning ODI and T20 ICC Player of the Year. Although useful with the ball too, it's her batting at the top of the order where Bates will make the most impact.
Wicket-taker: Holly Huddleston. Despite making her ODI debut in 2014, it wasn't until returning to the one-day team last October for the series against South Africa that Huddleston cemented her place in the team, as she took 11 wickets from seven matches at an average of 18.18. In English conditions, Huddleston's swing bowling should thrive.
One to watch: Amy Satterthwaite. No one has hit more ODI runs since the start of 2016 than Satterhwaite, who is one of only two to pass 1,000 runs. Averaging 87.58 in that time, her closest rival played 20 more innings yet was still struck nine runs fewer than Satterhwaite. Add in her contribution with the ball - she took 16 wickets in the Women's Championship - and Satterthwaite will have a massive bearing on how New Zealand do.
Squad list: Suzie Bates (c), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest (wk), Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.
Watch the ICC Women's World Cup with Sky Sports, starting with England Women against India Women on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports Mix from 10am on Saturday.