Going into the T20I series, the contest between India and England is well balanced as England leads with 6 points to India’s 4. With three matches to be played, the multi-format series can go either way. For India to win the Women in Blue will have to whitewash England 3-0, on the flip side if England has to win the series, they need 2 Wins. If England lose the series 1-2, then it will be a draw as both the teams will have 8 points each.
The first of the three-match T20I series will be played on July 9 at Northampton. Here’s the match preview for the 1st T20I:
India: Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Indrani Roy (wk), Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simran Bahadur
England: Fran Wilson, Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight (c), Sophia Dunkley, Natalie Sciver, Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Katherine Brunt, Mady Villiers, Tammy Beaumont (wk), Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Natasha Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Anya Shrubsole
Probable playing XI
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Harleen Deol, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Richa Ghosh, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav
England: Tammy Beaumont, Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight (c), Sophia Dunkley, Natalie Sciver, Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Davies, Sarah Glenn, Anya Shrubsole
Players to watch out for
Shafali Verma: All eyes will be on the number one T20I batter in the world as she will walk out to the middle in the 1st T20I. The 17-year old has had a good series so far, with contributions in the Test and ODIs. In 22 T20Is that she has played so far, she has scored 617 runs, including three half-centuries at a strike rate of 148.31.
Sophie Ecclestone: The number one T20I bowler in the world has troubled the Indian batters in this series. Going into the last leg of the competition, the left-arm spinner will look to end on a high. The 22-year old has featured in 42 T20Is so far and has scalped 61 wickets at an economy of under six.
Head to head
The last time these two sides met was during the semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020. The match was abandoned due to rain and India qualified for the finals on the basis of higher points accumulated in the group stage.
India and England have played 19 T20Is against each other. With 15 wins, England clearly dominates this duel. India, though has just four wins, are a better team than the number suggests.
India played their last T20I series against South Africa at home in March this year. They lost the series 1-2. India missed the services of players like Shikha Pandey, and Taniya Bhatia, who were not a part of the T20Is. Shafali Verma top scored with 130 runs, while Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who is not a part of the current Indian squad, was one of the leading wicket-taker with four scalps.
England on the other hand had a successful campaign in New Zealand as they beat the White Ferns 3-0. The series was played in March this year. Tammy Beaumont (102 runs) was the top run-getter while Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Davies, Sarah Glenn, and Natalie Sciver were among the wicket-takers with five scalps each.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.