CWG 2022: Team India will face Australia in the 2022 Commonwealth Games final for the gold medal on August 7 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The two teams had played the tournament opener, with Australia winning a thriller by 3 wickets. But a lot of water has flowed since. While Australia has remained unbeaten on their way to the final, India has beaten every team en route to the title round since the opening loss. India will have revenge on their minds after coming second best not only in this tournament’s opener but also ending runners-up to Australia in the 2020 T20I World Cup.
India step up at the right time
After the loss to Australia in the tournament opener and that too by a narrow margin of 3 wickets, India has just gone from strength to strength, beating Pakistan and Barbados convincingly in the league stage, and beating a strong England in the semis by 4 runs. However, India is aware that beating the mighty Aussies won’t be an easy task. They were handed an embarrassing loss by 85 runs in the 2020 T20I World Cup final by the Aussies. But it is not Aussies all the way. Remember the 2017 ODI World Cup semis where Harmanpreet Kaur slammed 171 not out against Australia in the semis to steer India into the final?
Kaur, who is now the captain, will have to once again repeat the 2017 semis heroics for India to claim gold in the 2022 CWG. India will have to bat and bowl out of their skin to give Australia a real fight. They will have to grab all chances that come their way because Aussies make opponents pay dearly for lapses. Ask England who faced the brunt of the Aussies in the recent 2022 ODI World Cup final where Alyssa Healy cracked 170. This time, India is banking on team efforts in the tournament, and once again they will need to reproduce that in the final to land gold.
— ICC (@ICC) August 7, 2022
It’s Kaur who is one of the few players who has managed to score it big against the Aussies. The 171 not out will be fresh in Kaur’s mind, and she would be raring to have a go at them, and give India the best chance to score well in the first innings or anchor the innings to the target when batting second.
India has won three and lost 2 in the last 5 T20Is. The two losses came against Sri Lanka and Australia.
Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana
Australia has the depth but is not invincible
Australia’s biggest strength has been its depth in both batting and bowling. They have players who have raised their hands up and taken responsibility to take the team across the finish line in any situation. In the tournament opener against India, their top-order was blown away, but their depth in batting saved the day for them. In the win against New Zealand in the semi-final, they just managed to cross the line in the final over. It shows that although Australia is a great team now, they are not invincible and can be beaten if the opposition plays better cricket.
Also, the law of averages might catch up as Australia has been winning everything on its way. They could have a bad day at work in the final if India plays their cards well. But another trait of the Aussies could just save their day. They have a penchant for reserving their best for the last. And if Australia has not been convincing so far in CWG 2022, it could be that they are just waiting for the title round to blow away the opposition. It has somewhat come naturally for the Aussies to be at their top game in crucial matches such as finals of multi-tournaments. If it does happen, India will be running for cover then.
— Australian Women's Cricket Team 🏏 (@AusWomenCricket) August 6, 2022
Australia has won 4 and 1 no result in their last 5 T20Is.
Australia’s top-order, who has had an off day in the tournament opener against India, will be raring to have a go against Indian bowlers. Alyssa Healy will be the most dangerous and could do the most damage. Along with her opening partner Beth Mooney, the two form an attacking opening pair. If the two get going, Australia can bat India out of the final.
Meg Lanning (captain), Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy (wicketkeeper), Alana King, Beth Mooney, Megan Schutt, Tahlia McGrath, Jess Jonassen
Head to head:
Australia has a great record against India in T20Is, winning 17, losing 6 and 1 no result in 24 matches. In the last 5 T20Is between the two teams, Australia has won four, and 1 no result.
The Birmingham pitch is likely to be a good batting pitch, but if the bowlers land the ball in the right areas, they too can make much impact and spoil the opposition’s party.
CWG 2022 final When and Where to Watch:
TV: Sony Sports Network
Live Streaming: Sony Liv App
CWG 2022 Squads for India vs Australia final:
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Yastika Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sabbineni Meghana, Sneh Rana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav
Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington