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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Women’s T20 World Cup final, India vs Australia: Things to look out for

India, who will be playing their first T20 World Cup final, are facing Australia, who have reached six of the last seven finals. However, recent form is on India's side, who are on an unbeaten run.

By: Sports Desk | March 7, 2020 1:31:45 pm
The Indian women’s cricket team with Katy Perry at the MCG on Saturday (Twitter/T20WorldCup)

The Indian women’s team are up against Australia, the most successful team in the history of the T20 World Cup, in Sunday’s final in front of a record crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India, who will be playing their first final in the tournament, are on an unbeaten run, also having defeated Australia in the tournament opener this year.

Past Record

India had capitulated to England in the 2017 ODI World Cup final and the 2018 World T20 semifinal. Australia have made their sixth successive final in seven editions.

Road to Final

After the semifinal against England was washed out, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led squad advanced to their maiden summit clash, on the basis of having finished first in Group A. Australia beat South Africa by 5 runs (DLS) in a rain-curtailed semifinal to reach the final.

Team News and Form

Sixteen-year-old Shafali Verma has consistently fired for India all through the World Cup. Her mercurial rise has made up for the below-par shows of the more senior players in the side, though the final could be as good a stage as any to play a tournament-defining knock. Leg spinner Poonam Yadav has made a sensational comeback from a finger injury and is the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with nine wickets alongside Australia pacer Megan Schutt. Pacer Shikha Pandey has put in diligent shifts and come up with match winning performances as well.

In Meg Lanning, Australia have a captain and top order batsman they can rely on, while Megan Schutt has led the pace attack impressively..In the field they have shown discipline and athleticism to defend middling targets. Australia’s campaign has been hit by injuries to pacer Tayla Vlaeminck and star all-rounder Elysse Perry. Jess Jonassen has stepped up in Perry’s absence and much will depend on whether she can replicate that form against India.

Weather and Pitch

The weather forecast in Melbourne for Sunday’s final is fine. Clear skies are expected all through the day. The pitch is expected to be a hard and flat one.

What they said

“This build-up to the game is something I’ve not experienced before and I’m quite glad that the final’s here tomorrow and we can say we’re involved in it. I always dreamed of being involved in this game, when I saw it was the MCG and they were hoping for a big crowd I just wanted to be involved.” – Australia captain Meg Lanning

“We are going to have 90,000 in the stadium and it’s a great feeling. We just need to enjoy the moment because it’s a big moment for all of us.” – India captain Harmanpreet Kaur

Squads

India Women: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Pooja Vastrakar, Taniya Bhatia, Radha Yadav, Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh.

Australia Women: Rachael Haynes, Megan Schutt, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Erin Burns, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland.

Match starts 12.30 PM IST.

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