England Women vs India Women: Preview and Prediction￼
The scenes for the first semifinal encounter of Commonwealth Games 2022 are hyped up as India Women is ready to take on England Women. The table-toppers of Group B will be summoned by the Women in Blue who are determined for a podium finish. The semifinal battle between two arch-rivals will be held at Edgbaston of Birmingham on Saturday.
England remained undefeated throughout the group stage campaign and made a huge claim on the Gold medal honour. Meanwhile, the spirit and determination of Harmanpreet Kaur and the company are also no less compared to their English counterparts. The Group A runners-up are having big preparations to launch a full-fledged attack on the undisputed title favourites.
We saw a couple of changes in the Indian lineup against Barbados Women where Pooja Vastrakar and Taniya Bhatia were included in place of Sabbineni Meghana and Yastika Bhatia. However, even Taniya Bhatia couldn’t do much in the given opportunity as we may see Yastika back in the Blues playing XI. Jemimah Rodrigues who received a promotion to the number three in the previous game went on score an unbeaten half-century and will continue in the same role.
England Women registered a 14-member matchday squad against New Zealand leaving out their skipper Heather Knight. The 31-year-old England captain has been ruled out of the Commonwealth Games campaign after suffering a hip injury. The leading English speedster Natalie Sciver led the Three Lioness in her absence and will continue to take the charge further.
What have they done so far?
The Women in Blue suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the opening fixture of the 2022 Commonwealth Games against Australia in a thrilling contest. However, the defeat did not affect the morale of Indian Women as they went on to win the following two games against arch-rivals Pakistan and Barbados at an ease. Especially in the previous game, where they bundled down Barbados to register their second-highest margin victory in the 20-over format by 100 runs.
On the other hand, even the group of death couldn’t stop the Three Lioness from prevailing to the next stage with an unbeaten record. The first two victories over Sri Lanka and South Africa assured them a qualification ticket for the medal round. However, the third and final group game was supposed to decide the table-toppers of Group A as England trampled down the New Zealand side to take it all.
Head to Head record
The head-to-head record of their feminine rivalry in the shortest format of international cricket is heavily dominated by the Three Lioness. The current head-to-head count of this feud favours the English side by 17-5 from 22 encounters between them. The maiden chapter of this rivalry was clinched by India however, the Asian outfit could emerge only four times in a span of 16 years since then.
In the year 2021, England hosted an all-format bilateral saga for the Women in Blue in which they also played a three-match T20I series. The series was won by the home side by 2-1 but the visitors received huge praises for putting up a great fight in tough English conditions. The series was levelled at 1-1 before the decider fixture where the Three Lioness registered an eight-wicket victory to take it all.
Alice Capsey: The English teenage sensation is just 14 runs behind New Zealand’s Suzie Bates who is sitting right at the top of individual run-scoring charts of the competition. The 17-year-old has fetched runs in each and every fixture of the campaign and especially a glorious fifty-run stand against South Africa in a 26-run victory. When the stakes were sky-high, Capsey emerged as a top-scorer of the game and guided them to the triumph.
Renuka Singh: The 26-year-old right-arm pacer who started her T20 International just a year ago, got her first major breakthrough in this competition. Renuka has bagged a whopping total of nine wickets from three appearances of Group A and that too with an astonishing average of just 5.33. In her last group game, she picked her second four-wicket haul of the tournament against Barbados Women and played a pivotal role in India’s historic win.
Predicted Playing XI
England Women: Danielle Wyatt, Sophia Dunkley, Alice Capsey, Natalie Sciver (c), Amy Jones (wk), Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Sarah Glenn
India Women: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Yastika Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Sneh Rana, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh
It is highly speculated that this high-voltage battle between two elite sides will reward an exceptional experience to the viewers. In the absence of regular captain Heather Knight, it will be very interesting to see if Nat Sciver lives up to the expectations or not. The hosts have brighter chances to emerge victorious from this contest however, they won’t be performing a blunder to take this Indian side lightly.