West Indies captain Hayley Matthews has been happy with her side’s preparation for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and believes good bowling depth can help the Caribbean team go all the way in South Africa.
The West Indies have been gearing up for next month’s event with a tri-series against tournament hosts South Africa and the powerful Indian side and Matthews thinks this can help her team to success in the eighth edition of the T20 World Cup that commences on February 10.
“Heading into this tournament, our immediate preparation has been very strategic and calculated,” Matthews noted in her column for the ICC.
“It has given us the opportunity to acclimatise to the conditions in South Africa, an entire month early.
“This comes through our Tri Nation series against India and the hosts themselves, who are both world class opponents going into a tournament like this.
“The teams that are able to adapt to the conditions in South Africa and make the most of the pitches will have an advantage.”
The West Indies have some tricky matches awaiting them at the T20 World Cup, with Matthews’ side requiring a top-two finish from their group that consists of England, India, Ireland and Pakistan if they are to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.
But Matthews – who took over the captaincy from Stafanie Taylor in June last year – believes her team has some quality bowlers at their disposal and this can prove a point of difference during the event.
“At the moment, our squad comprises a mixture of experience and youth, providing balance to the charismatic aura of our team,” Matthews said.
“Our bowling has proven to be our strength over the past year, which when paired with our exciting fielding, can help us in really close games.
“With dependable veterans, like Shakera Selman, Afy Fletcher and Stafanie Taylor leading the way with the ball, there is always a shot at defending almost any total set.”
Matthews played a major role in helping the West Indies claim their first Women’s T20 World Cup title when she produced a Player of the Match performance as a teenager in the final against Australia in India in 2016 and the talented all-rounder sees no reason to suggest why her team can’t do similar this time.
“Perhaps the single most memorable trophy for the West Indies Women as we won it for the first time in 2016, beating Australia by eight wickets in the final,” Matthews recalled.
“This was a historic moment for the team, as it was the first time, we had won a major ICC Women’s tournament.
“Nevertheless, we now have a renewed hunger to get our hands on the trophy once again.
“We believe a confident run can also bring about the breakout of budding talent within the squad.”