Mithali Raj (India)
For as long as one can remember, she has been the flag bearer of Indian women’s cricket. Raj enters the tournament on the back of an envious form. Having scored six fifties in a row, she is just 212 runs away from becoming the highest run-scorer in ODI history. Given how she has performed in the warm-ups, it won’t come as a surprise if the Indian veteran reaches the pinnacle through the course of the tournament. Apart from her batting, Raj’s captaincy too will be the key to India’s run in the event. Only recently she became just the third player in women’s cricket history to lead her country in 100-plus ODIs, and in her fifth appearance in World Cups, this will be her third stint as India captain.
Amy Satterthwaite (New Zealand)
Amy Satterthwaite’s all-round skills make here one of the most potent names in the White Ferns’ side. Her tall built aids her bowling but she will be someone to watch out for with the bat as well. Satterthwaite recently hit the headlines for hitting four ODI centuries in a row, equalling Kumar Sangakkara’s record. Since September 2014, only two players have scored more runs than the 30-year-old in this format. Even though New Zealand don’t use her services with the ball in every single game, she can prove to be quite a handful, picking up a wicket almost every game on an average. She has been involved with Lancashire Women of late and will hope that her experience of English conditions help her tee right from the start.
Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
Limited-overs cricket rewards players with dual skills, which is why New Zealand are being seen as one of the top contenders this time around. In captain Suzie Bates they have a formidable batting all-rounder. Bates has scored the second most runs in ODI cricket since September 2014, which defines her consistency. She recently became the first woman cricketer to win both the ICC Women’s ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards. Bates certainly has been leading by example as she also regularly chips in with the ball, picking up 72 wickets so far in her career. Come 24th June when New Zealand face Sri Lanka in their opening game, Bates would hope to get the launchpad against a relatively modest team.
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