We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
The pitch at Edgbaston has produced consecutive thrillers and even contests between the bat and ball. The spinners, however, do not have much to extract from.
Probable XI for India Women: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh
Probable XI for Pakistan Women: Muneeba Ali (wk), Iram Javed, Bismah Maroof (c), Omaima Sohail, Nida Dar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Tuba Hassan, Diana Baig, Anam Amin
Harmanpreet Kaur continued her dream run. It was her 52 off 34 that not only held the innings together in the middle overs but also took the team to a competitive total. Since the start of the My11Circle Women’s T20 Challenge, she has two fifties and four thirties in seven T20 games.
Although Nida Dar’s 50* off 31 went in vain, it kept the fantasy players in the hunt. In her last six T20Is, she has scored 136 runs at a stunning average of 68 and taken three wickets. Against India, she has grabbed eight wickets in nine games.
Smriti Mandhana (24 off 17) Shafali Verma (48 off 3) launched an attack right away against Australia. The left-right combination and the variety of strokes the dashing duo possess make it difficult for the bowlers to maintain a good economy. Pakistan will have to devise a plan to get rid of the pair before they lose grip over the situation.
Renuka Singh has taken one three-wicket and two four-wicket hauls in her last five white-ball games. More importantly, all her four wickets came in the powerplay.
In her last 10 competitive games, Fatima Sana has taken 14 wickets including a four-wicket and four two-wicket hauls. Both wickets against Barbados came at the death.
Deepti Sharma provided fantasy points for both wickets and economy. She ended with figures of two for 24 in her four overs. She is India’s go-to bowler, unafraid to bowl in any match situation.
It was the first time in her seven-T20I career that Tuba Hassan went wicketless. Not that she bowled with indiscipline, but the pitch did not seem to have much for the spinners. She otherwise strikes at regular intervals.
Bismah Maroof, despite being equipped with a wide array of shots, could not get going against Barbados. She took as many as 28 deliveries to reach 12 runs. Given her vast experience, it seemed like a rare failure. After all, she averages 28 in 115 T20Is.
The spin bowling pair of Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav were taken to the cleaners: 0 for 66 in six overs. Although there isn’t much turn for the spinners, they will have to change their lengths. They have enough expertise to strategise a plan that best suits the conditions.
India have never lost to Pakistan in T20Is. Against Australia, they were in a commanding position for most part of the game but could not hold on to their nerves when the opposition pressurised them. Pakistan, on the other hand, looked out of sorts against Barbados. Their batters especially will have to counterattack before the Indian bowlers smother them.
Time: July 31, 3:30 PM IST