India Women will win
Our prediction is that India will win the third to make it 3-0 in the ODI series against England Women.
The last of the 3-match ODI series between India and England Women team will take place at the Wankhede Stadium on 28th of February. India Women have already won the series with two thumping wins against the visitors. The ODI series will be followed by the 3-match T20I series.
After the comprehensive defeat in the first ODI England Women would have hoped for a change in fortunes in the second ODI when they decided to bat first. If it were the spinners in the previous game, it was Indian pacers this time that restricted England to a score that in-form Indian batters can easily achieve.
England are trying hard in the bowling but their batting just hasn’t clicked on this tour. Two consecutive failures in back to back games have affected their morale as well. It will take a mammoth effort from them in the third ODI to bounce back and topple the confident Indian Women team.
India Women are looking unstoppable at home in Mumbai where they have registered two back to back wins against the defending champions England. With 4 points in two wins, India getting closer to the table-toppers Australia with 16 points in 14 matches.
Losing the toss bowling first, India Women maintained a tight line and lengths right from the word go. Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey broke the back of the top order with a couple of quick wickets each. After a brief partnership that looked to be helping England reach a respectable score, Poonam Yadav had Winfield holed out to deep midwicket. Goswami and Pandey then came back to finish what they started claiming 4 wickets each.
The chase of 162 was never going to trouble the Indian batters unless they too collapsed like the England top order. There were early jitters when Rodrigues got out for naught. However, a 73 run partnership between in-form Mandhana, who scored her 15th half century, and Poonam Raut all but sealed the match for India. Mithali Raj contributed a handy 47 in the latter half to see India home. Confident India need to persist with their plans to clean sweep the series against the defending champions.
Mithali Raj (c), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Poonam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Ekta Bisht, Taniya Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Mona Meshram, Poonam Yadav.
With the return of veteran players such as Sarah Taylor and Catherine Brunt, England Women must have expected a better fight, if not the result, in the ongoing series against India women at home. Having already lost the series the defending champions must ponder over what went wrong for them. The answer would mostly be batting.
Winning the toss again, but batting first this time, England Women collapsed on both sides of a 49 runs partnership between Sciver and Winfield first losing 4 for 44 and then 5 for just 26. At one point England were 119 for 9 but thanks to a 42 run partnership between Sciver and Hartley, of which Hartley scored none, England Women could get to a below par but a fighting total of 161. Nate Sciver was last to get out on well-made 85.
England started well in the defense but could not find a way to get Smriti Mandhana who displayed some sublime drives on the way to yet another half-century. England eventually lost by 7 wickets. Anya Shrubsole bowled her heart out and ended with the match figures for 2 for 23.
Heather Knight(c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Alex Hartley, Amy Jones/Sarah Taylor(wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Katherine Brunt.
After the two low scoring games in this series so far at Mumbai, it is evident that the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium is not a belter. Though India batters showed in the second that if you apply yourself you can score in these conditions. Anything between 220 and 240 should be a winning total here.
The team winning the Toss should opt to bowl first here and should plan the chase according to the set target on a pitch that does not change during the course of the game.
There are no dead rubbers in this series. Although the series has been decided, the race for being in the top four of the ICC Women Championship and thus for the automatic qualification for the World Cup continues. India Women might want to try a couple players for this contest but they would still have their eyes on those 2 crucial points. England Women, on the other hand, have much to improve. They would just focus on a better outing this time regardless of the result.
Thus, our prediction is that the India Women will clean-sweep the series with a win in Mumbai in the third and final ODI against England Women.
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