So, here’s a primer on how India’s opponents, who are of course the reigning 50-over champions have performed in the tournament so far, their history against India in T20I clashes and who could be their game-changers at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
The Tournament So far
England entered the tournament without two of their biggest names. While wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor was forced to pull out due to an anxiety condition, spearhead Katherine Brunt, who left the field after bowling just five balls in the warm-up match against India, was declared unavailable due to a back injury.
However, even the weakened squad had no problems getting past the group stage of the tournament, taking five points from their first three encounters, despite their opening fixture against Sri Lanka getting washed out. The lost the last game against Windies in a final-over finish, which meant they were pitted against the toppers from Group B – India.
Unlike the other three semi-finalists, Heather Knight’s side have not had any standout performers with the bat. That’s because they haven’t needed one.
They needed to chase down only 64 against Bangladesh, 84 against South Africa and managed just 115 in their loss against Windies. Amy Jones has scored the most runs in the tournament so far for them, 50 from three games, a run ahead of Tammy Beaumont’s aggregate.
A closer look at the bowlers and we find a familiar culprit and a pleasant surprise. Pacer Anya Shrubsole accounts for seven of the 25 wickets England have taken in this tournament and she is third on the list of highest-wicket takers in the group stage despite having played one game less than her counterparts. And she has done so with a phenomenal economy rate of 3.18. The performance from left-arm spinner Kristie Gordan, who made her international debut in this tournament, has also been impressive, picking up six wickets in three games with a decent economy of four runs per over.
While overcoming a fired up Indian side is a tough ask for any team, England do hold the upper advantage when it comes to clashes between the two.
Overall, England have won 47 encounters against an Indian side in 92 matches in all-formats. When narrowing down to just T20Is, they have won 10 out of a total of 13 games.
They held a streak of winning nine consecutive T20Is against India, dating back to March 2010, which came to an end earlier this year in the tri-series featuring Australia, with India beating them in the final league stage game by eight wickets in Mumbai.
Both these sides have never met in the knockout stages of a World T20. Their most recent encounter in an ICC tournament was the unforgettable 2017 Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s, in which England prevailed by a narrow margin of nine runs.
Additionally, India have never managed to get past the semi-finals of a World T20, beaten in both those games convincingly, by 52 runs against New Zealand in 2009 and by seven wickets against Australia in 2010.
History appears to be stacked against the Indian side.
India’s Biggest Threats
Anya Shrubsole: The England seamer’s six for 46 in the 2017 Women’s World Cup final is a part of folklore. And it came against the very opposition her side is going to face in the semi-final on Thursday. Along with that memory of picking up the final wicket to seal her side’s triumph over a year ago, the 27-year-old has been in terrific rhythm in the Caribbean. India’s batsmen have been edgy against raw pace in this tournament, something Shrubsole will be looking to exploit in Antigua.
Danielle Wyatt: The opener might be considered as one of the most dangerous batters in this format, but she hasn’t set the ball rolling for herself so far in the competition, with scores of 0, 27 and 1 in the first three games. The sight of Harmanpreet Kaur and her side as her opponents is likely to bring back memories of Brabourne Stadium, when she smashed a breath-taking century, the fastest in Women’s T20Is, against India in a record run-chase earlier this year. Consistency may not be her strong suite, but on her day, Wyatt has the ability to take the game away from the opposition with a single-handed effort. And England will hope, that day is against a red-hot Indian side.
anya shrubsoleDanielle WyattEnglndHeather KnightICC Womens World T20 2018India vs EnglandIndia womenIndia Women vs England WomenWomen's World T20 2018womens t20 2018WWt20
First Published: November 21, 2018, 1:41 PM IST