The rivalry between the India and Pakistan women’s teams is not as high profile as their men counterparts, but there will be just as much at stake when they teams face off in the Women’s World T20 match at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi on Saturday.
India began their World T20 campaign with a comprehensive victory against Bangladesh, but Pakistan’s start was not that smooth as they were narrowly defeated by West Indies.
Here’s a look at the five women cricketers who can play a major role in deciding the fate of this match.
The 33-year old batter is one of the most experienced and decorated players in world cricket and under her captaincy, India won four consecutive Asia Cup titles. With 1452 runs to her name, Mithali Raj is the highest run scorer for India in T20 internationals and thanks to recent performances, she is ranked fifth in the ICC T20 Player Rankings. The Indian skipper scored a 35-ball 42 against Bangladesh in the first match of the 2016 Women’s World T20 and on Saturday, she will be looking to lead her team from the front against Pakistan.
The 24-year old is one of the emerging talents of Pakistan cricket and she has proven her mettle in both ODI and T20 formats. Currently ranked No. 8 in the ICC T20 Player Rankings, the left-handed batter maintains an average of 27.76 in T20 Internationals and due to her dominance at No 3 in the batting line up, she has drawn comparisons with Indian star Virat Kohli. Maroof was the top scorer for Pakistan in the first match of the 2016 World T20 against West Indies and she will surely be looking to guide her team to victory against India.
The 27-year old from Punjab has been the most consistent batter for Indian in the recent past and she is also the second highest run-getter for India in T20 Internationals. Ranked No. 12 in the ICC Rankings, Kaur has guided India to a lot of victories and she is well known for being one of the best finishers in world cricket. Kaur played a major role in her team’s victory in the first match of the Women’s World T20 and she will be looking to repeat that performance against Pakistan.
Sana Mir is arguably one of the most successful captains for Pakistan . Under her leadership, Pakistan won the gold in the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou and then successfully defended the title against Bangladesh in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon. The bowling all-rounder has claimed 56 wickets in her 64-match long T20 career and she holds the distinction of being the only Pakistani women’s cricketer to be included in the Rest of the World (ROW) team for the 200th anniversary match for the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
The all-rounder is well known for her fast bowling skills and she was instrumental in guiding India to their first Test win against England in 2006. With 44 wickets under her belt in T20 Internationals, she is the most successful Indian bowler and she was awarded the ICC Women’s Player of the Year in 2007. Goswami is one of the most experienced cricketers in the team and she will surely play a huge role.