Women's World T20 team guide: Who are the players to watch and who will come out on top?
Watch live on Sky Sports Cricket throughout November
By Kalika Mehta - @Journo_K
Last Updated: 10/11/18 9:09pm
The Women's World T20 kicks off in the Caribbean on Friday, November 9 with 10 teams hoping to get their hands on the trophy. Ahead of the start of the tournament we look at each of the teams, which players to watch out for and who will be making it through to the next stage...
Holders Windies were surprise winners in India in 2016, brushing aside Australia in the final to lift their maiden T20I title and will be hoping to use home support as a driving force behind their bid to lift successive trophies.
However, the Southern Stars are in formidable form, unbeaten in their last nine T20Is, while 2017 World Cup champions England and runners-up India more than pose a threat.
South Africa and New Zealand have both brought strong sides with explosive players and the sixth edition of the women's World T20 - the first stand-alone competition - promises to be the most competitive yet.
Alongside Sky Sports pundit Ebony Rainford-Brent, we analyse each of the teams...
The shock victors in 2016, Windies have seen large, and very vocal, crowds come out and support them in their warm-up matches ahead of the start of the tournament.
With power-hitters Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and Stafanie Taylor all in their ranks they are definitely a team who will look to entertain in the coming weeks.
"Windies are good playing at home," Rainford-Brent explains. "Whether it's the energy or the music it gives them a lift.
"The last time we saw them play they looked a bit flat but there have been a few changes. I think they're dangerous at home because they're a team that really gets a buzz from it.
"I'd say watch out for West Indies at home. Dottin hasn't fired for a little while on the world stage but you've always got to be wary of her. She's one to keep your eye on."
After clinching last year's 50-over World Cup on home turf at a sold-out Lord's, England have looked a formidable side.
They smashed a women's T20I world record 250-3 against South Africa this summer and opener Danni Wyatt is in brilliant form having scored two centuries and two fifties in her last 11 T20I innings.
Rainford-Brent is hopeful of England's chances of lifting their second title in 15 months, saying: "I think England are going to go there with lots of energy and excitement on the back of a decent Kia Super League.
"The question is can they adapt if they have to make changes or shift around the order, bringing in a couple of the youngsters? I think they will be able to do that.
"Hopefully there are enough experienced players now - Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Nat Sciver - and to balance it they have to bring in a couple of fresh faces. I think England have the talent and the winning capability."
Chamari Atapattu is clearly key to Sri Lanka's hopes for success in this year's World T20 and they have enjoyed previous joy against England - having beaten them in the Women's 50-over World Cup in 2013.
"Their goal is possibly to cause one or maybe two upsets," said Rainford-Brent. "The challenge for them is to be consistent. They have got Attapattu and because she's had that global experience, her confidence is up and she'll be leading that group well.
The Proteas suffered a chastening T20 Tri-Series against England and New Zealand this - having two world record totals scored against them in the same day.
However, Lizelle Lee smashed her maiden T20 century to lead Surrey Stars to victory in the KSL final and the explosive batter looks in great form.
"They're the most dangerous team to England in this group by a mile," Rainford-Brent said. "They are hungry, I think they're still hurting from their 50-over World Cup exit in the semi-final against England.
"They've been playing quite a lot in this build-up whereas England have had a break since the end of the season, so they're kind of fresh and they've got the talent."
Bangladesh lifted their maiden Asia Cup earlier this year, beating India and Pakistan in the group stages before overcoming Kaur's side in the final.
Having shown continued improvement in their T20 game over the last years they could prove a bogey side for a few of the teams in Group B.
"If you look at how Bangladesh performed in the Asia Cup they caused a few upsets (against India and Pakistan)," Rainford-Brent said.
"I think they are a team that you can sometimes take your eye off and have shown of late they have a bit of hunger in them.
"They keep chipping away and are improving their fitness, so they will fancy themselves. Their goals will be to take out Sri Lanka, cause an upset against South Africa and they might fancy themselves against the Windies."
As for which teams will make it through to the semi-finals Rainford-Brent is backing Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa to make the final four.
The three-time champions put up a poor defence of their title in the 2016 final and struggled to perform in the shortest format as they won just two of their six T20Is in 2017. However, after taking a hard look at themselves following a disappointing semi-final exit in the 50-over World Cup last July, the Southern Stars look back to their dangerous best.
Rainford-Brent believes Australia are the team to beat: "After the 2016 final and last year's World Cup they are hurting and if they get it right they will be dangerous.
"Ashleigh Garnder is the player to watch in their team, anyone who has seen her play has seen how outstanding she is.
"She's one of the most destructive batters, if she gets started I don't think any team can really recover from the launch pad she has. She's also a handy off-spinner as well which gives Australia that perfect all-rounder cricketer."
It has been over 18 years since the White Ferns last lifted a world title but in scoring a short-lived women's world record T20I total against South Africa this July - before England broke it a few hours later - they showed the huge power they have with the bat.
"They are always there or thereabouts," Rainford-Brent said. "Spin in women's cricket, especially T20s, is critical and the most vital skill. Amelia Kerr is an exciting player, she bowls the googly really early, has the confidence and gives it a bit of air.
"She will be a big threat and they have a lot of the great players."
Ireland have featured in the previous two editions of the World T20 in 2014 and 2016 but are yet to register a win in their nine group matches thus far.
With rising star Kim Garth, who won the Women's Big Bash League with Sydney Sixers, in the team alongside experienced players such as Isobel Joyce, they should be hoping to make a mark on this year's tournament.
"I feel like they have to prove to themselves they can do it more than anyone else," explained Rainford-Brent. "They do so well in the qualifiers but then they let themselves down in the actual competition.
"I'm not expecting them to win the tournament but they need to make sure they take on a couple of teams and get a win here or there. They always scratch about and go home really disappointed.
"Kim Garth and Gaby Lewis are two young and exciting players, they are the standouts and look like the next generation that Ireland want to build around."
Reaching the World Cup final in England at Lord's brought about huge change for the Indian side as further investment was put into developing the side.
They have gone through a number of changes, with former Indian spinner Ramesh Powar recently being appointed head coach.
Batters Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur showcased their immense talent in this year's KSL - with the latter being named player of the tournament after finishing as the top runscorer.
Rainford-Brent said: "India could do a little bit of damage, one because it's T20 and two because Mandhana and Kaur came over to the KSL and performed.
"If Mandhana and Kaur get going they are just a ridiculous side and they have a lot of spin options, which is key in Women's T20Is. I'm not sure anyone will see them as a major threat but they will be confident."
Pakistan are another country that have gone through a lot of change in the last year and have had little chance to show how much improvement they have managed to make under new coach New Zealander Mark Coles.
He faces his toughest test since being handed a two-year contract in January and Rainford-Brent believes former captain Sana Mir is key to any success they might have.
"I feel like Pakistan have flat-lined over the last few years," she said. "They have a lot of players who have been around for a long time but I just don't feel they have stepped up their game in any shape or form.
"Anyone who has seen Sana Mir bowl knows she is very dangerous and consistent. She has enough experience and is someone who can take wickets and keep it tight."
Watch every match from the ICC Women's World T20 live on Sky Sports with New Zealand taking on India from 2.30pm on Friday, 9 November.