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India vs England: Top 5 player battles in Women’s Cricket World Cup final

India will face England in the final of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup as they look to claim their maiden title.

cricket Updated: Jul 23, 2017 10:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
India vs England,Women’s Cricket World Cup final,Women’s Cricket World Cup
England's Heather Knight and India's Mithali Raj pose with the trophy ahead of Women’s Cricket World Cup final.(Action Images via Reuters)

India will be looking to lift the coveted title for the first time when they take on three-time champions England in the Women’s Cricket World Cup final on Sunday. Having pulled off an upset win over six-time winners Australia in the semifinal, India will start with a much confident outlook against the hosts.

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An exciting contest will surely be on the cards with England’s reliable batters coming up against a consistent Indian bowling unit. With all to play for out in the middle, HT looks at the major player battles that can decide the outcome of this encounter.

Sarah Taylor v Jhulan Goswami

With over a hundred ODIs to their names, these two can dictate the course of a game by their performances. While Goswami, the highest wicket-taker in women’s ODI cricket history, has picked up just seven wickets in eight games so far, her miserly economy rate of 4.48 has helped India contain opponents in crucial situations. She’ll want to get rid of Taylor on the cheap on Sunday as well, as the wicket-keeper batsman has been in supreme form, with 351 runs to her names, including a century.

Deepti Sharma v Natalie Sciver

It has been kind of a topsy-turvy tournament for Sciver so far. In eight matches, she has struck two centuries — the most by a batter in the tournament. But, in rest of the games, she has failed to cross even 30. The stats itself suggest the kind of threat Sciver provides if she’s allowed to settle down and Sharma, the highest wicket-taker for her side will be fully aware of the scenario. Sharma has 12 wickets to her name so far, including getting a couple of crucial breakthroughs.

Mithali Raj v Alex Hartley

There haven’t been too many individual brilliances with the ball for the host nation but what Hartley has managed to provide is the consistency of keeping things in check. Although she has picked up just eight wickets so far, her economy rate of 4.12 has often created the much-needed pressure from one end.

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That is bound to be a challenge for Raj, who tends to pace her innings before upping the ante. Raj is 12 short of overtaking Ellyse Perry as the tournament’s highest run-scorer but she’ll be fully aware that her team would expect her to lead from the front with a much bigger knock on the big day.

Heather Knight v Ekta Bisht

With eight wickets from as many matches and another 363 runs under her belt, the England skipper has led the team from front so far. The batters form three of the top-five highest run-getters in the tournament and thus, India would want their bowlers to be on the hunt right from the first ball.

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While Knight’s wicket may not be the most-prized wicket, it’s certainly one of the most important. Bisht might just do the job for India though with the southpaw having the ability to turn the ball away from the right-hander. She’s gone about her job pretty well so far, picking up nine wickets, including the famous five-for against arch rivals Pakistan.

Tammy Beaumont v Poonam Yadav

The English wicket-keeper batsman is the third-highest run-getter in the tournament behind Perry and Raj but had started the tournament with paltry scores of 14, 14 and 12 in the first three games. Then came the mammoth knock of 149 against South Africa before she piled on another 184 runs in the next three games.

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She’s just one shy of a half-century of boundaries in the tournament as well and might go on to play another if she isn’t sent packing soon. Yadav has been a pretty consistent too, managing to pick up wickets in all the matches so far, barring in the tie against Pakistan. While she isn’t particularly a strike bowler who will pick wickets in tandem, her ODI economy rate of 3.46 justifies the reason she finds a place in the side.

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 10:24 IST