Man of the Match: Anya Shrubsole
England Women and India Women to battle for a place in the finals of the tri-series.
England Women to win this game!
India Women produced a fantastic team display in the first match of the Australia Tri-Nation Women's T20 Series by beating England comprehensively by 5 wickets. England has generally had the upper hand against India in the format. However, India Women were professional and confident in the 1st T20I where they restricted England Women to just 147-7 and then chased down the target with 3 balls to spare.
The two teams will now meet again at Junction Oval on February 7. India went on to lose their next game to Australia Women by 4 wickets while England won their match against Australia Women in a thrilling Super Over. It will be interesting to see how things go this time especially since the stakes are higher and a place in the finals is up for grabs. This should be a contest between India's spinners and England's batting might.
England Women's batting is overly dependent on captain Heather Knight. The stylish batter had scored 67 n the 1st game against India and followed it up with a sparkling 78 against Australia. She is in great touch and would be looked at to lead the batting unit again.
Openers Amy Ellen Jones and Danielle Wyatt have failed so far in this tournament. However, you cannot keep Danielle Wyatt out for too long and expect her to make some impact in this match. The likes of Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver will be watched out for as well.
England's bowling has many performers. Freya Davies and Natalie Sciver have been good. Sophie Ecclestone and Sarah Glenn are coming off wonderful performances against Australia Women and would be eager to continue that form. Katherine Brunt, however, has been expensive in both the matches so far and that is one area England would need to plug if they hope to stop India.
Heather Knight (c), Danielle Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Natalie Sciver, Lauren Winfield, Fran Wilson, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Freya Davies
Danielle Wyatt, Lauren Winfield, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Davies, Amy Ellen Jones, Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight, Fran Wilson, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt
After a strong performance against England, the Indian team's batting collapsed against Australia Women where they were bundled out for just 103 after being asked to bat first. However, they still have some great talent there.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur has held the middle-order in both the games while Smriti Mandhana showed her experience with a composed 35 on a difficult pitch in the game against Australia. The onus will now be on the likes of Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Veda Krishnamurthy to stand up and be counted. These three have been terrific performers for India in the past and would need to produce some of their best to help the team make it to the finals of this tri-series. India Women's bowling is in better shape.
Even when the team was defending a target of 104 against Australia Women, the bowlers put up a spirited display. Spinner Deepti Sharma was excellent at the start of the innings and was ably supported by seamer Shikha Pandey. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad is a handy bowler and has been terrific in both the matches this series, picking up 4 wickets for 37 runs in 8 overs. Radha Yadav to has been good. If these spinners can bowl well in tandem then may well strangle the England batting unit.
Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Radha Yadav, Arundhati Reddy, Shafali Verma
Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Radha Yadav, Harmanpreet Kaur, Shafali Verma, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||25||0.19 mm.||8.3 k/h||From: SSW||66%|
|03h||24||0.56 mm.||9.91 k/h||From: SSW||96%|
|06h||24||0 mm.||11.74 k/h||From: SSW||98%|
|09h||19||7.63 mm.||11.19 k/h||From: W||54%|
|12h||17||0.50 mm.||9.64 k/h||From: W||77%|
|15h||17||0 mm.||9.47 k/h||From: W||100%|
|18h||18||0 mm.||6.34 k/h||From: W||100%|
|21h||18||0 mm.||6.14 k/h||From: W||100%|
The pitch at the Junction Oval in Melbourne generally stays true throughout. The surface has been good for batting in the past but the seamers enjoy the first few overs of bowling. Spinners too should get adequate purchase during the middle overs. A total of 160+ by the team batting first might be enough. The weather at Melbourne on the day of the match is predicted to be bright and sunny throughout.
The Junction Oval in Melbourne has provided some excellent contests. There has been no international game played on the venue yet so this will be a historic moment for the ground. We can expect an entertaining match with scores of 160-odd by both the teams.
Teams who have batted second have done well in this series. Thus, expect the toss-winning captain to bowl first and chase the target.
While India Women did register an emphatic win against England in the 1st match of the tri-series, they would know that England Women have had the upper hand against them in the past.
Before that match, England Women had beaten India Women in 4 consecutive T20Is. After that loss against India, England bounced back well to defeat Australia. They will now be coming back hard at India who lost their second match to Australia.
It should be an interesting contest. India's spinners can choke England. However, if England's batting might live up to its billing they will overpower India. This is a tough game to call and can go either way. But backing England as the winners of this contest on current forms seems like the prudent option
England Women to win this game!