After the first half of the tournament, all the three teams are standing at 2 points each from 2 games. In the first game, India defeated England by 5 wickets, while England clinched victory in a super over against Australia. Australia bounced back, Ellyse Perry proved again why she is regarded as the legend of the game by beating India single-handedly.
India will face England in their next match and will be dependent once again on their top-four who has scored 182 runs in 158 balls in the last two matches, which is almost 74% of the team ‘s total. But India’s woes regarding inconsistent middle order is going to haunt them in this series and World Cup as well. Veda Krishnamurthy, one of the most senior member has failed to fire in two matches-7 vs England, 8 vs Australia.
Indian middle-lower order has scored 63 runs in 81 balls using 10 wickets in 2 matches. averaging less than 7 per wicket. Harmanpreet came to bat in the 11th over against England and 3rd over against Australia. She is batting at no 4 for quite some time and this has created a void in the middle order, which is lacking one, who can generate quick runs during the end of the innings.
Indian spinners have stood up the occasions in this series and have picked up 9 wickets at an average of 18.3 with an economy of 6.12. We can except Poonam Yadav in the playing XI in place of Arundhati Reddy against England to strengthen the spin attack. Sikha Pandey though went for plenty in her initial overs but she came back strong in her 2nd spells to restrict the run flow.
England too has their own problems too. In both the matches their top order has collapsed. Danni Wyatt, Amy Jones, and Nat Sciver have failed to give the team the desired start. But their Captain Heather Knight rescued her team on both the occasions and scored 67 and 78 against India and Australia respectively. England due to the whirlwind batting of Knight scored 88 and 115 in the 10 overs in their two matches who turn to be crucial.
Indian bowling department needs to find a way out to stop Knight in order to get control over the match. England can try to move Lauren Winfield and Tammy Beaumont up the order to get a better start. Both of them have batted in top order and have enough experience to tackle the Indian spinners. Inclusion of Katherine Brunt will curtail their tail and lead the seam bowling attack. Sophie Ecclestone and Sara Glenn will again be crucial for England in the World Cup, later this month too.
Each team can play 3 matches at the most and they need to sort out their best playing eleven for the World Cup as well. It will be interesting to see how both the team approaches this situation.
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Veda Krishnamurthy/Richa Ghosh, Deepti Sharma, Tania Bhatia, Sikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakawad.
England: Amy Jones, Danielle Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight (c), Fran Wilson, Nat Sciver, Lauren Winfield, Katherine Brunt, Mady Villiers, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone