Women's T20 World Cup predictions: Awesome Aussies should take all the beating
- Australia have reached the final of the last six T20 World Cups, winning five of them
- New Zealand have won their last four T20 matches against Australia
- Recommended bet: New Zealand to win and each-way
The eighth edition of the Women's T20 World Cup takes place in South Africa and five-time winners Australia once again set the standard, having been installed as 8/15 favourites with LiveScore Bet.
England won the inaugural tournament in 2009, bowling out New Zealand for just 85 on their way to a six-wicket victory at Lord's but Australia have reached the final of the last six T20 World Cups, winning five of them.
The one blot on their record came in Kolkata in 2016 when opener Hayley Matthews powered the West Indies to an eight-wicket victory over the Aussies while India, thrashed by 85 runs in the 2020 final in Melbourne, are aiming to improve on that showing in South Africa.
All-round talent gives defending champions great balance
Australia produced an outstanding performance in front of a crowd of 86,000 at the MCG to beat India in the final three years ago and, last year, they beat England emphatically to regain the 50-over World Cup.
It is hard to pick holes in their recent T20 form as they have lost only one of their last 17 completed matches and that defeat came in a Super Over after they posted a score of 187-1 in a tie with India.
Australia have welcomed back iconic captain Meg Lanning after a break from cricket and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy is one of the world's most destructive batters as well as a class act behind the stumps.
The all-round talents of Ellyse Perry, Ash Gardner and Tahlia McGrath give the side great balance and the Aussies are in Group A alongside South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — avoiding India and England until the semi-finals.
Exciting batters hold the key to India's hopes
Can anyone stop Australia claiming a sixth T20 world title?
Group B rivals India and England are rated the most likely contenders and the future looks bright for India, who lifted the Under-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa last month and are on offer at 4/1 with LiveScore Bet.
Under-19 captain Shafali Verma is part of an exciting batting unit for the senior team although there are doubts about their fast-bowling department and they were well beaten by South Africa in the final of last month's tri-series also featuring the West Indies.
Tournament hosts South Africa made the shock decision to leave out captain and star all-rounder Dane van Niekerk for fitness reasons and that will surely have unsettled the squad, particularly as Van Niekerk's wife Marizanne Kapp is another of their key players.
England's squad is packed with experience, led by Heather Knight, and they hammered the West Indies 5-0 in December's series in the Caribbean, bowling out their hosts for just 43 in the final game.
They lost a semi-final thriller to India in the T20 tournament at last summer's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, however, and upsetting Australia looks a tough task for Knight's side.
England are priced at 9/2 with LiveScore Bet to lift the trophy, while hosts South Africa are available at 18/1.
New Zealand could pose biggest threat to favourites
After their Commonwealth Games defeat to India, England lost by eight wickets against New Zealand in the third-place playoff and the Kiwis could pose the biggest threat to neighbours Australia.
The Aussies look rock-solid favourites given their T20 World Cup pedigree, their recent form and the quality and depth of their squad but Twenty20 cricket can be a volatile format.
New Zealand, runners-up in the first two T20 World Cups, have endured a lean spell since then but the draw gives them a good chance of advancing to the semi-finals at the expense of South Africa.
They have won two of their last four T20 clashes with Australia — a superb effort given the Aussies' dominance — and if inspirational White Ferns captain Sophie Devine overcomes a foot injury they could lay down a serious challenge.