In search of a long-overdue ICC title, India will be successful in their Women’s T20 World Cup opener against arch-rivals Pakistan here on Sunday. India-Pakistan matches are always exciting, but the quality of the cricket may not live up to high expectations due to India’s much greater advantage. Having said that, Pakistan beat India in their last encounter at the Asian Cup last year, who had too many experiments. Over the past five years, the gap between the two teams has widened as India has continued to challenge the supremacy of Australia and England. Women’s cricket in Pakistan, on the other hand, has stagnated.
Indian players will be more motivated as the match is scheduled for the day before the inaugural Women’s Super League auction. For some, this can be distracting.
India were concerned about the fitness of their captains Harmanpreet Kaur (shoulder) and Smriti Mandhana (finger) ahead of the opening match. After practice sessions on Saturday, there will be a conference call regarding their participation.
“They are all senior players and very important to the team. Even if there is a little doubt about their game readiness, we will not risk playing them because it is only the first game of the tournament,” the BCCI source said. .
India lost their last three-peat final to South Africa, which they should have won to qualify for the World Cup. They also lost a warm-up match to Australia before beating Bangladesh.
India are expected to reach the semi-finals of the ICC tournament again, but they will need to up their game in all divisions if they are to beat mighty Australia.
Barring Renuka Singh, the bowling team didn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Veteran Shikha Pandey has yet to pick a wicket since his comeback last month and will be motivated to provide an early break in the display.
Spinning mills have also performed worse than expected recently.
In the batting department, Harmanpreet and Mandhana need all the support. Shafali Verma, who has just led India to its first U-19 World Cup title, will be eager to prove her doubters wrong with consistent performances.
Jemimah Rodrigues will be under pressure to perform as she hasn’t been able to hit impactful shots since her comeback.
The role of bowling all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar was also crucial to India’s chances in the tournament.
Richa Ghosh is one of the few players on the team with an X-factor, and she will be instrumental in the death rounds.
On the Pakistan side, Nida Dar will be a player to watch.
Pakistan are in a series against Australia. They beat Bangladesh in their first warm-up match before losing to South Africa.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Anjali Sarvani, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey.
Pakistan: Bismah Maroof (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Sadaf Shamas, Fatima Sana, Javeria Wadood, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sundhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Tuba Hassan .
The game starts at 6.30 IST.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)
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