Former India T20 captain Mithali Raj said that while hosts Australia are the favourites going into the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup, India will be no pushovers and the gap between the top teams and those below in women's cricket is reducing. India play Australia in the tournament opener on Friday.

"The gap between the top and bottom teams is closing. You can't go by the practice matches alone, but it does give you a rough indication of how the tournament could play out. Take Sri Lanka beating England for example - there is a possibility that could happen again," said Mithali in her column for the International Cricket Council website.

"Australia go in as favourites, but India will be no pushover," she said about the tournament opener. "They have some very talented players and I think it will be a very close, high-scoring game.

"In the T20 format, you can't really predict a winner because it all depends on how the main players perform on that particular day."

Mithali also spoke about the change in the perception of women's cricket since the time that she started her career.

"Back in my day, we only had male players as inspiration because that's all we used to see on the television. Today a young girl can have a role model in the form of a female cricketer and I think that's the biggest chance I have seen," she said.

"A lot has changed since I was playing in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup. The biggest difference is people are now aware of what's going on with their national team. When I broke the world record for the highest individual Test score in 2002, people didn't know about it unless they were going out to buy the newspapers."