Time: June 30, 6:30 PM IST
Venue: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
In the four completed games of the ongoing English T20 League at Taunton, there were 5 five scores in excess of 180 runs. The pitch has been a featherbed for batters this summer. The weather, however, may play a spoilsport in the first innings.
Probable XI for England Women: Lauren Winfield Hill, Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Sophia Dunkley, Katherine Brunt, Sarah Glenn, Sophie Ecclestone, Anya Shrubsole, Kate Cross
Probable XI for India Women: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Pooja Vastrakar, Ekta Bisht/Poonam Yadav
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Players to watch out for
Had it not been for Mithali Raj’s 72, India would have been bundled out for a paltry score. She added 56 runs with Punam Raut (32 off 61) and 65 runs with Deepti Sharma (30 off 46). As a matter of fact, Mithali has excellent numbers against England: she has scored 1,870 runs in 56 ODIs.
Talking about numbers, Raut likes scoring in English conditions. In the 2017 World Cup, she scored 381 runs in a mere 9 matches. Overall, she has collected 741 runs at 37 in England.
Sophia Ecclestone likes to feed on the Indian batters. She has taken two four-wicket and a three-wicket haul in 6 games. More importantly, she has dismissed Harmanpreet Kaur thrice in 4 ODIs.
Tammy Beaumont ranks No. 1 ICC ODI Rankings for batters, and her unbeaten 87 in the series opener was evidence of this fact. She now has 4 fifties in the last 5 competitive matches.
Natali Sciver’s last 4 scores against India in the format read 44, 85, 1, and 74*. To everyone’s surprise, her ranking (8th) is better than Heather Knight’s (14th) in ODIs.
Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma had good starts to their innings but fell to the pace duo of Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt. Verma won’t hold herself back, but Mandhana will have to bat longer if India are to post above 250 runs.
India’s middle-order was not the only spot of bother but also the bowling that lacked teeth on Sunday. They conceded 202 runs in a mere 34.5 overs, and even a score of 250 would not have guaranteed them a win. England played spin well, and India had nothing to scare England with.
Given the weather forecast, the toss will play a critical role. Captains will look to bowl first. However, India do not have a good reputation for chasing down scores under pressure. Whether they first or second, they have no option but to bat well as a cohesive unit.