Both the openers Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia showed passion from the beginning. Mandhana looked in fine form during her 123-run knock while Harmanpreet scored her first and fourth overall after an unbeaten 171 against Australia in the 2017 World Cup. Both these players would like to continue the same performance to strengthen India’s claim for the semi-finals.
All-rounder Deepti Sharma and skipper Mithali Raj, who have been sent up the batting order, will, however, have to do better with the bat. Young Richa Ghosh, who has been a brilliant performer behind the wicket, has so far failed to do well with the bat under pressure. She has failed to replicate her stellar performance against New Zealand last month. All-rounders Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar impressed with their performances.
The bowling attack, which was a matter of concern ahead of the World Cup, has so far been able to perform as expected for the team. Fast bowlers Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar and Jhulan Goswami did fine but most of the wickets were taken by spinners Rajeshwari Gaikwad (7 wickets) and Sneh Rana (5 wickets). Rajeshwari is third in the list of most successful bowlers of the current tournament.
Rajeshwari (3.36) and Sneh (3.44) are also ranked third and fourth respectively in the list of bowlers with the best economy rate in the tournament. On the other hand, defending champions England, who came out to defend the title, had a poor start. Heather Knight’s team has lost all three of its matches and is on the seventh spot in the points table. England had to bear the brunt of the failure in the last moments by losing the match.
The team has missed many catches and stumping opportunities. Opener Tammy Beaumont has impressed with the bat while spinner Sophie Ecclestone and all-rounder Nate Sciver are England’s most successful bowlers in the tournament with four wickets each.
India Squad: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shefali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Poonam Yadav, Jhulan Goswami and Renuka Singh.
The England team is as follows: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Freya Davis, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danny Watts.