The Indian women’s cricket team will take on Australia in the final of the tri-series that also featured England at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Wednesday (February 12).
The series saw each team play each other twice, meaning all team’s played 4 matches. Amazingly, every side won two and lost two matches and therefore the finalists were decided on the basis of Net Run Rate (NRR).
Defending T20 world champions Australia will be favourites in this match, given that it is being played in home conditions. However, the most recent encounter between these two sides saw the match end in favour of the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side.
India’s chances of a win will depend heavily on how well youngster Shafali Verma does. The 15-year old has taken international cricket by storm since her debut and has been in fine fettle in this series as well, with her power-hitting approach a welcome addition to India’s top order.
The key player for them with the ball will be Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who is the tourament’s highest wicket-taker thus far. The woman behind her is Australia’s Ellyse Perry, who will have to deliver with both bat and ball if the hosts are to stand a chance of ending the series as victors.
Ashleigh Gardner has been the key player for the hosts with the bat thus far, scoring 141 runs in the series but she won’t be the only one who poses a threat, with the likes of Beth Mooney and skipper Meg Lanning also capable of winning matches.
India’s preparations for the tournament won’t be considered a failure should they go on to lose this match, but the WV Raman-coached side would like to go into the World Cup with winning momentum on their side.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Beth Mooney, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Rachael Haynes, Sophie Molineux, Nicola Carey, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Delissa Kimmince, Georgia Wareham, Erin Burns, Annabel Sutherland.
India: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy, Nuzhat Parween, Pooja Vastrakar, Richa Ghosh.