Women’s T20 Final Preview: India Seek Maiden T20 Title

The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup for 2020 is finally coming to a close. India will take on Australia at the Women’s T20 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, March 8, as the Women in Blue are eyeing their maiden T20I title. They take on a mighty Australian side who just lost one game in the tournament so far. India, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the tournament and are looking to make history. 

Thus going into the Women’s T20 final, India have that extra motivation of beating a team, an opposition like Australia. India lost two ICC World Cup semifinals in recent times, both against England. They lost against them in the 2017 ICC ODI World Cup and also in the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup. Against Australia however, they are looking to turn the tide.

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From an overall team performance, Australia have had a better World Cup than their opponents India. Four of their batsmen have scored over 100 runs in the tournament, compared to India’s one. Also, their bowling attack has more variety that India, who have relied heavily on the spin of Poonam Yadav. Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has scored just 26 runs in the tournament so far and has looked woefully out of form. Smriti Mandhana is out of form as well. While there are three Aussie batters among the top 10 run-getters. One expects the Women’s T20 final between India and Australia will be a high-scoring game and will be defined by the batswomen. 

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Bowling has been India’s core strength in this tournament and the Women’s T20 final between the teams is expected to be no different. India would depend heavily on their spin trio led by Poonam Yadav, who is topping the wicket-takers list with 9 wickets. Poonam, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav would like to limit the Australian batters to a manageable total to make it easier for their batsmen. India has three bowlers apart from Poonam, with more than five wickets in this tournament. Seven for Shikha Pandey and five each for Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Radha Yadav. 

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Australia have only two bowlers with more than five wickets – Schutt (9) and Jess Jonassen (7). India also have a combined better average, economy rate and strike rate – 15.83, 5.94 and 15.9 respectively than that of Australia – 20.44, 6.37 and 19.2.

The weather and the playing conditions are expected to be good at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Women’s T20 final. The ground is big and the pitch is batting friendly. With good batters in both sides, we can expect a high-scoring contest. There are no injury concerns from both sides and they are expected to field a full-strength squad for the final. 

Key Stats Ahead of Women’s T20 Final 

1) Shafali Verma’s strike rate of 161.00 is the highest in the competition for any player with a minimum of 10 runs.

2) Australia enjoy a 13-6 record against India out of 19 T20I games between both teams. 

3) In World T20, Australia won 9 of the total 10 knockout matches. 

4) India have played 10 knockout matches across the two tournaments and won only three.

5) Australia are looking for their fifth Women’s World T20 title, the most by any team in Women’s Cricket. 

6)Shafali Verma requires 48 runs more to become the leading run-getter for India in a single World T20 edition by surpassing Mithali Raj’s 208 in 2014. 

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