The three-match T20I series between England and India is evenly poised as both the teams have won one match each. The series is leveled at 1-1, with England winning the first T20I by nine wickets and India emerging victorious in the second T20I by eight wickets. With everything to play for in the third and the final T20I of the series, the two teams will look to put their best forward.
While the hosts, England, would not have recovered from their unexpected loss to India in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games a month ago, they would look to take revenge for that defeat. On the other hand, India will take a lot of confidence from their comprehensive win in the second T20I and remember that they had the better of England in their backyard in the knock-out match of the Commonwealth Games. So, which team is more likely to win the third T20I and ultimately seal the series? Calling all the experts to put their thinking hats on, use their cricket knowledge and visit Big Bash predictions to make your own predictions.
Need some more help? Let’s look at the performance of both teams in the first two T20Is, compare them and help you make the right predictions.
Strong opening batting pair
England and India boast of a formidable opening pair. While England has the likes of Sophia Dunkley, who has made the opening position her own in no time, her partner, Danielle Wyatt, is nothing less than a pocket-sized dynamo who can rattle any opposition with her power-packed stroke-making. Dunkley has already scored a half-century in this series. However, Wyatt has failed to click. With over 100 T20Is under her belt, Wyatt can be dangerous on her day.
Like England, India is blessed with a steady opening pair in Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana. The right-hand, left-hand combination makes it difficult for the opposition to bowl consistent lines and lengths and set the field. While Verma employs power and unorthodox shots to score runs, Mandhana is an elegant player who relies more on timing and finding gaps. Both these players have looked good in the series so far, with Mandhana registering an unbeaten half-century in the second T20I.
England’s middle order looks weak with their regular captain Heather Knight and vice-captain Natalie Sciver missing from the side. Knight and Sciver have been the backbone of England’s batting. Alice Capsey has shouldered the batting responsibility well, but her lack of experience at the international level does not help England’s cause. The stand-in captain Amy Jones is the most experienced player in the middle order. However, she has not been tested much in this series.
Unlike England, India’s middle order looks relatively experienced. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur is the leader of the pack. Apart from her hard-hitting abilities, in recent times, she has earned the reputation of pacing her innings well. Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar are the other batters in the middle order. Though they may be classified as bowling all-rounders, they have been more than handy with the bat in all game formats.
The pace department of both teams is relatively inexperienced. While England has gone ahead with three specialized speedsters in Lauren Bell, Freya Davies, and Freya Kemp, India has relied on the services of only Renuka Singh Thakur. Though Vastrakar is another fast bowler in the Indian team, she is more of a bowling all-rounder than a specialized bowler. With respect to the spin department, England has a versatile trio in left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, leg spinner Sarah Glenn, and off-spinner Bryony Smith. On the other hand, India misses a classical leg spinner, with Sharma and Sneh Rana being the off-spinners and Radha Yadav being the left-arm spinner. On paper, England’s spin attack looks better, with Ecclestone and Glenn being the world number one and world number two bowlers in women’s T20Is.
Who is likely to win the third T20I?
The Indian team has more experience than England. Apart from Wyatt, the current England team that took the field in the first and second T20I does not have a single player who was a part of England’s 2017 World Cup win.
While India’s batting looks more robust than England’s, England’s bowling seems more balanced than India’s. So, who is likely to win the third and final T20I? India may have the last laugh as they have probably found a recipe to win on English soil.
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