The inaugural Under 19 T20 World Cup in South Africa is all set to begin on 14th January where 16 teams will be featured. The 15-player team that will represent the United States of America (USA) in the inaugural edition of the tournament, which begins in South Africa on 14th January, has been unveiled by USA Cricket.
Geetika Kodali will serve as the team’s captain, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will lead the coaching staff. The USA will compete in a more difficult Group A against Australia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The USA Women’s U19 National Selection Panel picked a 15-player roster last month, and five non-travelling reserves will be on hand in case any substitutions are needed. With Taranum Chopra joining the squad, 14 out of the 15 players who recently toured the United Arab Emirates have been chosen.
The ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup is the inaugural competition for the top young female cricketers from around the world, and it will be held every two years. Eleven ICC Full-Member countries — Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe—got free participation in the competition. One team from each of the ICC’s five regions competed for the remaining five berths.
What could we expect?
The USA shouldn’t be underrated going into the first ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, especially with West Indies great Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the helm as a coach. Chanderpaul was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. Throughout his illustrious career, Chanderpaul demonstrated the ability to complete tasks under pressure, and the 48-year-old will demand no less of his charges in South Africa during the group stages. Chanderpaul has faith that his group will succeed in South Africa.
The team enters the competition with low-key confidence after claiming a stunning series victory over the West Indies in 2022 and defeating fellow World Cup participants UAE 3-2.
The bad news for Chanderpaul and the USA is that they were drawn into a difficult group with games against Sri Lanka, Australia, and Bangladesh on the horizon. Additionally, a top-three finish during the preliminary round is necessary to advance to the Super Six portion of the competition.
.@USAcricket U19 Women defeat Scotland U19 Women by five wickets with four balls to spare chasing a target of 101 in a warmup match today at Johannesburg ahead of 2023 Women's U19 T20 World Cup. Bhumika Bhadriraju starred with the ball taking 4 for 18 in four overs. pic.twitter.com/OoIOfKmKAF— Peter Della Penna (@PeterDellaPenna) January 6, 2023
Players to watch out for USA:
Geetika Kodali: With the new ball, a lot will be expected of the USA captain and based on recent performances, there is every chance that the 18-year-old may shine throughout the competition. The right-armer Kodali, who has already made 12 senior appearances for her nation, didn’t seem intimidated when she played alongside international players Deandra Dottin and Sune Luus for Trinbago in the Women’s Caribbean Premier League last year. There is a good potential that the USA squad will do well in South Africa if Kodali can keep things tight early and make some quick gains with the ball.
Bhumika Bhadriraju: Bhumika Bhadriraju, the right-arm off-spinner of the USA can pose a great threat to the opponents. She can give flight to the slow ball quite well. The youngster made her debut late last year and has taken 8 wickets in 7 games so far as well that include her career-best 4/9 against the UAE. This is also the second-best T20I figure for a USA player after only Suhani Thadani’s 4 for 6 vs Argentina as well. She made headlines in the warm-up game, taking 4 for 18 in four overs as well.
Geetika Kodali (Captain), Anika Kolan (WK) (Vice Captain), Aditi Chudasama, Bhumika Bhadriraju, Disha Dhingra, Isani Vaghela, Jivana Aras, Laasya Mullapudi, Pooja Ganesh (WK), Pooja Shah, Ritu Singh, Sai Tanmayi Eyyunni, Snigdha Paul, Suhani Thadani, Taranum Chopra
Reserves: Chetnaa Prasad, Kasturi Vedantham, Lisa Ramjit, Mitali Patwardhan, Tya Gonsalves
Saturday 14 January, 13:45 (local). vs Sri Lanka, Willowmoore Park B Field, Benoni
Monday 16 January, 13:45 (local). vs Australia, Willowmoore Park B Field, Benoni
Wednesday 18 January, 10:00 (local). vs Bangladesh, Willowmoore Park B Field, Benoni