Our prediction is that India Women will start the T20I series with a win against England counterpart.
England Women won the last of the 3-match ODI series in a tense chase against India Women. The next leg of the tournament, the 3-match T20I series will be played at Guwahati from 4th March to 9th March.
India Women reached to a below-par score of 205 owing to a middle order collapse after a strong start. England Women had their share of collapse at the start of the innings but the middle and lower order held nerve to get them over the line.
Most of the Indian prime batters have been among the runs in the recently concluded ODI series with the player of the series Smriti Madhana in a sublime form. England, on the other hand, have had a very scratchy time with the bat. Though England are ranked higher their batting will have to show more application if they are to topple this Indian side at home.
India Women almost had a perfect ending to the ODI series if not for the resistance shown by the England captain Heather Knight and lower middle order. India Women would be looking forward to the 3-match T20I series now.
Just like the first ODI, after setting a below-par target of 206, India had the chance to bowl the opposition out cheaply in the final ODI. However, India Women failed to close in on the match where they had the top 5 opposition batsmen back in the hut before the team total reached 50. Jhulan Goswami was excellent with the ball picking top three batters for 41 in her 9 overs. Player of the series Smriti Madhana top-scored for India with 66 runs.
India are without their prime T20 player Harmanpreet Kaur in this series. Those are big shoes to fill in. Smriti Mandhana will be the captain instead. Indian top order is firing with a bit of support from the middle order and in the bowling department, India should be able to make an impact in the T20I series.
Smriti Mandhana (c), Mithali Raj, Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Ekta Bisht, Taniya Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami/Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy
England Women showed fight in the third ODI to get an unlikely win, especially after the top order wobble. They must be looking for a better performance from their batters in order to begin the 3-match T20I series on a high.
Catherine Brunt showed her value in the comeback series. At a point, India were looking good at 128 for 1. In a matter of 4 overs, Brunt reduced India Women to 140 for 5. She came back later in the day during the chase to support Elwiss and pulled off a tense win for England Women. Heather Knight played a handy knock 47 earlier in the innings to stop the slide. Danielle Wyatt chipped in with a handy 56.
Sophie Ecclestone will miss the T20I series due to injury. Despite the win in the third ODI, England Women must be worried about the regular batting collapses. In ODIs, there is time to make a comeback after the collapse. In a T20 game though, there is hardly any time and England Women must be wary of that.
Heather Knight(c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Alex Hartley, Amy Jones, Sarah Taylor(wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt
The match will be played at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Only one T20 international has been played at this venue which had been a low scoring one. Not much is known about the wicket here.
The team winning the toss should look to Bowl first to get the idea of the conditions and then look to chase down the target using the knowledge of the wicket.
Since 2014, only 5 T20 internationals have been played between the two teams. England have won 4 of them. But there has been so much time between these encounters that it would unwise to read into it too much. To put things in perspective, Jamimah Rodriques, currently ranked second in ICC T20I batter's ranking hadn't made a debut in 2014. India's current looks better than the English counterpart, especially at home.
Thus, our prediction is that the India Women will begin the T20I series with a win in Guwahati in the first T20I against England Women.
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