Meg Lanning: Australia’s captain hoping to become a five-time world champion

Meg Lanning has dragged her team to the final with both her batting exploits and peerless captaincy
Women’s T20 World Cup final: India v Australia
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Date: Sunday, 8 March Time: 07:00 GMT
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sport website & app; in-play highlights (UK only) & live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Meg Lanning is a four-time world champion, a three-time Ashes winner and she has more one-day centuries than any other female player.

And she’s still just 27-years-old.

On Sunday, Lanning will lead Australia out in front of at least 75,000 people at the MCG as she and her side bid to beat India and win their fifth T20 World Cup title.

Nicknamed Serious Sally by her teammates for her level-headedness, Lanning cuts a steely figure on the field.

The closest she has come to being over-animated was smashing her bat into her leg when she was dismissed against New Zealand in Australia’s must-win group game in Melbourne.

On the field, the brim of the hat pulled down low, arms crossed, Lanning analyses everything. A quiet word with the bowler here, a slight fielding change there; all of it is marshalled by the inscrutable captain.

“She’s actually really soft!” England spinner Alex Hartley, who played with Lanning in Melbourne seven years ago, told BBC Sport.

“She’s not hard to get to know. What you see is really what you get.

“When it was raining during Australia’s semi-final against South Africa, she was signing autographs, chatting to kids. That’s not a front – that is genuinely her. It is just what she’s like.”

Highlights: Lanning leads from the front as Australia reach T20 World Cup final

If Australia win on Sunday, Lanning will be the third captain to lift a World Cup trophy on home soil, yet she never harboured captaincy ambitions as a youngster.