Based on recent performances, overall impact, and credit points, we have opted for a fantasy cricket team.
While the league stages saw a few low-scoring games at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, the semi-finals produced better batting performance from the teams involved. Clearly, if the batters put a price on their wicket, runs can be added at a decent rate. That said, given the conditions, the bowlers too will remain in the hunt.
Time: August 7, 9.30 PM IST
Probable XI for Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown
Playing XI for India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh
Smriti Mandhana’sblazing 61 off 32 balls at the top laid a strong foundation for India in the semis. She also slammed 63* against Pakistan earlier in the tournament. She has registered 4 half-centuries in her last 10 innings against Australia.
Much of Australia’s success in the Games has to be attributed to the brilliant all-round show of Tahlia McGrath. Besides bagging 8 wickets, she has also scored 126 runs, including the highest score of 74* in 4 innings.
After starting off the tournament with low scores, Beth Mooney has quickly got back to consistent run-making. She followed up her innings of 70* against Pakistan with another match-defining knock of 36 in the semis. Her last five scores against India in the format read 10, 61, 34, 78*, and 6.
Renuka Singh might have gone wicketless in the semis against England, but she is still the leading wicket-taker (9) for India in the tournament. When she bowled against Australia in the league stages, she walked away with figures of 4 for 18.
Although India lost to Australia in the league stages, Harmanpreet Kaur smashed a 34-ball half-century. While she could only manage 20 in the semis, India will hope that she can reproduce yet another stellar innings in the finals.
Since the Barbados game, Jemimah Rodrigues has added 100 runs, including an innings of 44* in the semis. Along with Harmanpreet and Mandhana, she will also remain a key member for India with the bat.
Deepti Sharma continues to keep fantasy players interested with her dual ability. She has added 57 runs and taken 3 wickets in the tournament.
Australia’s spin duo of Jess Jonassen and Alana King have been regularly striking and have taken 11 wickets between them. Interestingly, both spinners have got a four-wicket haul each in the tournament.
India will need to see off the new-ball threat of Megan Schutt in the powerplay. She has taken 6 wickets for the tournament, including 3 for 20 against New Zealand in the semis.
Barring the defeat to Australia earlier in the tournament, India have won all games in the tournament. They will also be high on confidence after stunning England in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, Australia remain unbeaten and have all the ammunition, and experience to leave Birmingham with the gold medal.