Our prediction is that India Women will begin the home series with a win in the first ODI at Wankhede Stadium!
England Women are on a tour of India for a three-match ODI and T20I series. The ODI series will kick-off on 22nd February with the first ODI and will end on 28th February. All the ODIs will be held on iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
These ODI fixtures will be considered as a part of the ICC Women’s Championship Trophy that will determine the automatic qualification for the Women's World Cup in 2021. The top four teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup whereas the rest will have to play the qualifier.
With an ODI series win away from home in New Zealand by a margin of 2-1, India women team have entered into the top four with a healthy net run rate. England, on the other hand, are currently at 7th rank with 10 points. It will be interesting to watch the defending ODI champions England battling it out against a very strong ODI outfit, India, in their home soil.
India Women have just returned from a successful ODI tour away from home in New Zealand. With comprehensive wins in the first two ODIs, they sealed an important series win in the context of ICC Women’s Championship Trophy. However, India had to endure a consolation win the last ODI by the hosts making it a 2-1 series win for India.
India are currently at 4th rank in ICC Women’s Championship with 12 points in 12 matches with a net run rate of 0.388. At the top, Smriti Mandhana, who almost single-handedly won the series in New Zealand, and Mithali Raj, an Indian batsman who recently completed 20 years in ODI cricket are currently among the top 5 in the batting rankings.
Indian Women team’s middle order had been tested in recent times when the top order, especially Mandhana, failed to make an impact at the beginning of the innings. India’s success in this series and in the future will depend a lot on how middle order, especially Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma, bat around Captain Mithali Raj.
Mithali Raj (c), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Ekta Bisht, Taniya Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Dayalan Hemalatha, Poonam Yadav.
England Women cricket team, the defending Champions in ODI cricket, are on a tour to India play 3 ODIs and T20I each. In July 2017, the England Women team became champions by snatching the victory from jaws of defeat against the Indian team. Since then England have played an ODI series in India in 2018 which they lost 2-1.
England are currently ranked 2nd in the ICC Rankings with a 3 point lead over India. They are, however, at the 7th rank in the ICC Women’s Championship after 9 matches with 10 points. A series win here would put them right up in the top four teams to ensure automatic qualification for the world cup.
The likes of Sarah Taylor, available only for ODIs, and Katherine Brunt, available through the series, are included in the squad. These two will be playing their first ODI since the 2013 World Cup. As is evident from the recent matches, England need to apply themselves better in the batting department. They have fairly strong bowling unit, including the likes of Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole, that have dug England out of the hole many a time including the world cup final.
Heather Knight(c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Alex Hartley, Amy Jones/Sarah Taylor(wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Danni Wyatt.
The historic Mumbai stadium has been one of those venues where the Toss has minimal impact on the result of the game in ODIs. The pitch stays true till the end giving ample opportunity to the chasing team to apply themselves and pull the chase off.
The team winning the Toss should opt to bowl first here and should plan the chase according to the set target on a true pitch.
Two strong ODI outfits battling it out, with the intention of not just winning the series but also being in the top 4 teams in the ICC Women’s Championship for automatic qualification for the World Cup, makes up for an exciting contest. India and England women teams, the last ODI world cup finalist, are sure to not let any stone unturned to keep the ascendancy in World Cricket. It is battle of India’s batting might versus England’s bowling prowess. Though, at home, with enough support from bowlers, India seem to be in a slightly better position.
Thus, our prediction is that the India Women team will kick-off the series with a win in Mumbai in the first ODI against England Women.
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