After a clinical performance to clinch the last four berth on a slow track, the Indian women’s team will be considering their final group showdown against Australia on Saturday as a practice to take over tough challenges in the semi-finals. With momentum firmly on both sides, India and Australia would also like to test their middle-order to provide their players with clear roles. Also Read - David Warner Copies Ravindra Jadeja's Sword-Celebration in Throwback Video, Asks Fans For Verdict | WATCH
Despite the stunts, the aim to dominate the opposition is the common drive as the ‘Women in Blue’ are learning the commanding game, while the three-time champions in the shortest format are the experts. Also Read - Shoaib Akhtar Proposes India vs Pakistan Series to Raise Funds For Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic
India’s whirlwind skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who blasted a century in the opener, powered her side to an imposing 194 runs which surpassed the previous highest world record of 191 runs stationed by Australia against Ireland in 2014. However, the ‘Women in Blue’ would be aiming to set the record straight after losing to their rivals twice in the India Tri-Nation Women’s T20 Series held earlier this year. Also Read - Ben Stokes Named Wisden's Leading Men's Cricketer in World; Ellyse Perry Bags Women's Honours
Apart from Kaur, other players are capable too of individual brilliance. The likes of Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Jemimah Rodrigues can turn a game with the bat.
All-rounder Deepti Sharma and newcomer D Hemalatha carry the confidence of ruining the opponents on their day. But a flurry of wickets in the middle overs can force India to lose their way and eventually limit their surge in the death overs.
The bowling department is filled with attackers like Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadhav, Deepti, Hemalatha and Mansi Joshi. They have already shown their strength. If needed, skipper Kaur can also be economical while picking wickets at regular intervals.
The wicket-keeper batter, Tanya Bhatia has improved behind the wickets as she reminds of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s quick style. But in terms of fielding, India lacks the persistence.
On the other hand, Australia’s skipper Meg Lanning has an impressive batting record with the strike rate of 118. She also holds the highest score of 126 runs in T20 history.
With three clinical wins, opener and wicketkeeper batter Alyssa Healy has scored more runs than any of her countrywoman-scintillating 48, 56 (not out) and 53 runs against Pakistan, Ireland, and New Zealand respectively.
Assisting with the ball, fast-bowlers Megan Schutt and Ellyse Perry along with the spin duo of Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux can be handy on Guyana’s slow pitch.
When Group-B leaders India and Australia meet, it will not be a knock out rather it will offer an insight into how both the sides will dominate when they battle against a wide-open Group A probable.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (WK), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.
Australia: Meg Lanning (Captain), Rachael Haynes, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (WK), Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham, Nicola Carey.
(With Agency Inputs)