Cricket Australia, ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, Australia squad, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry

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Australia is vowing to defend its T20 World Cup title on home soil.

And this is the squad of 15 ready to take down the world.

Led by the incredible Meg Lanning, Australia takes on India in the first group game as they trek towards the final on March 8.

Watch every match of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup LIVE & Ad-Break Free with FOX CRICKET on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

NZL v INDBrought to you by bet365Aussies face tough T20 draw

Aussies face tough T20 draw

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It’s a near identical squad to the 2018 edition, with Cricket Australia to officially announce the group of players for the upcoming T20 tri-series and the World Cup at 10am on Thursday.

Lanning will lead from the front given she has 2580 runs at an average of 36.85 across the T20I format.

The 27-year-old notched three figures for the Perth Scorchers in her second-last innings of the WBBL tournament, named in the team of the tournament after her class rose to the top.

But it was ‘keeper Alyssa Healy who stole her thunder at the previous World Cup, ending as the player of the series after scoring 225.

The destructive opener thumped an unbeaten 148 against Sri Lanka back in October and will lead from the front when she strolls out to bat at the top of the order.

It’s likely to be Beth Mooney walking out alongside her, with the Brisbane Heat star taking the WBBL by storm this season.

Mooney stood up under pressure in WBBL|04 and went from strength-to-strength this season, scoring 743 runs at a whopping average of 74.3 in their back-to-back title winning season. The left hander made nine half-centuries throughout the tournament.

Beth Mooney (right) was a vital player for the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL this season.Beth Mooney (right) was a vital player for the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL this season.Source: Getty Images

The experience of Rachael Haynes and Ellyse Perry just adds even more strength to the middle order of the Australians.

Haynes might’ve had an underwhelming WBBL season, but it was Perry’s dominance before her shoulder injury which turned heads.

Perry is the competition’s all-time leading run scorer and is fit and firing following a stint on the sidelines. The all-rounder made her WNCL debut for Victoria a fortnight ago, taking the new ball and batting in the middle order.

In a huge positive for the squad, Sophie Molineux returns to the national set up after taking time away from the game in November to focus on her mental health and wellbeing.

WBBL can't handle the Heat

WBBL can’t handle the Heat

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The young all-rounder can play a roll with bat and ball, but it’s her left arm spin which will be the skill opposition tears will be weary of.

Molineux’s brief international career has been impressive, learning the ropes off Jess Jonassen.

The Queenslander had one of her best WBBL campaigns to date and will be hoping to lock down a spot in the XI, given she was left out for Molineux at the 2018 T20 World Cup.

It was youngsters Ashleigh Gardner and Georgia Wareham who played big roles in the triumphant victory in the West Indies.

Georgia Wareham celebrates a wicket.Georgia Wareham celebrates a wicket.Source: Getty Images

Gardner became the first indigenous cricketer to win the player of the final after a starring cameo with the bat. Who could forget Wareham throwing down the stumps to dismiss Amy Jones, with the young gun bowling a number of handy overs of leg spin right throughout the tournament.

Teenager Annabel Sutherland will be hoping to make a statement if handed her debut at the World Cup, with the all-rounder continuing to go from strength to strength this season.

Tayla Vlaeminck is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket and the hard Australian wickets could ensure her inclusion in the team throughout the tournament. Erin Burns will also be fit and firing for the series after a rapid rise in the last 24 months.

Nicola Carey and Delissa Kimmince are set to battle it out for the medium pace bowling role, with the pair able to restrict batters in the vital middle orders of games.

And then there is swing bowler Megan Schutt. With a strike rate of 15.6, the 27-year-old is one of the most important players for Lanning to use at her disposal.

Schutt will bowl the important overs at the top of the innings and her effective slower ball will ensure she takes the ball at the death.

Source: Getty Images

SQUAD: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup fixture

Warm-ups

February 15 vs West Indies at Allan Border Field

February 18 vs South Africa at Karen Rolton Oval

Tournament

February 21 vs India at Sydney Showgrounds

February 24 vs Sri Lanka at WACA

February 27 vs Bangladesh at Manuka Oval

March 2 vs New Zealand at Junction Oval

Finals

March 5 semi-finals SCG

March 8 final MCG

All matches will be broadcast live on Fox Cricket and Kayo

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