India women’s cricket team has put in a solid display in the ongoing World T20 in the West Indies. Harmanpreet Kaur’s side has been dominant, with the Indian skipper leading the way with a blazing century against New Zealand. Having secured a victory over three-time champions Australia in their last league game, India head into the semi-final against England high on confidence but they will be gunning for revenge. The last time the two teams clashed on the big stage, India had a chance to create history by winning the Women’s 50-over World Cup for the first time but an inspired spell from Anya Shrubsole (6/46) gave England a nine-run win and a fourth world title.
Shrubsole will once again be the key focus for the Indian batters, with the England pacer taking a hat-trick against South Africa. Apart from Shrubsole and the powerful batting line-up, India will have to adjust to the conditions. All their three league games were on the slow, low Providence wicket while the pitch in North Sound, Antigua has assisted the pacers a lot more.
In Guyana, India were well-served by spinners Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav and Deepti Sharma in the league games. Poonam, in particular, has been superb with eight wickets and a fantastic economy rate and she has received great support from Radha and Sharma. In addition, Dayalan Hemlatha has also given great support. When it comes to the batting, Mithali Raj has demonstrated her class with two fifties but she has been plagued by injuries. Jemimah Rodrigues has been solid in the middle order but she has not converted her starts into big scores. The lower middle-order has not been tested much and this could be a problem heading into the knock-outs.
England eye great start
Heading into the contest, England’s confidence will be slightly dented after they lost in the last over to the West Indies in their last league game. However, the side will be aware of the threat posed by India, most notably from Harmanpreet and Mithali.
England’s batting has not been tested much in this World T20, with the game against Sri Lanka getting washed out while South Africa was bowled out for 85. The likes of Natalie Sciver, Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont and Amy Jones have not fired for the inaugural World T20 champions. It is the bowling, led by Shrubsole and Kirstie Gordon with seven and six wickets respectively that has helped England reach this stage.
India and England have squared off four times in the World T20 with England winning all four of their encounters. However, India registered their first win in this competition against Australia recently and they have the chance to break yet another jinx.