• Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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India’s “battle of nerves” in T20 World Cup final on Sunday

Meg Lanning of Australia and Harmanpreet Kaur of India pose with the trophy during the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Media Opportunity at Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 07, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIA have to win the battle of nerves in the all important game against Australia when they meet in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday (8).

Australia, who had beaten India in the preceding tri-series final, find themselves in familiar territory having made their sixth successive final in seven editions.

More than 75,000 tickets have already been sold for the final and the figure could go as high as 90,000, unprecedented in women’s cricket.

India go into the final unbeaten after topping the group stage where they had beaten the four-time champions Australia in the tournament-opener.

Incidentally, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur celebrates her birthday on Sunday which is also International Women’s Day.

After the semifinal against England was washed out, the Harmanpreet Kaur-led squad advanced to their maiden summit clash, having finished first in Group A.

The refreshing firepower of 16-year-old Shafali Verma at the top and consistency of India’s spin-heavy bowling attack has contributed massively to the team’s success so far in the competition.

India expect Shafali to provide another flying start and hope this time the experienced Mandhana too fires. There can’t be a bigger stage for Harmanpreet to be back amongst the runs and lead the team from the front.

India did not cross the 150-run mark in the group stage but still managed to get over the line, thanks to a disciplined bowling effort.

Leggie Poonam Yadav has made a sensational comeback from a finger injury and is tournament’s leading wicket-taker with nine wickets alongside Australia pacer Megan Schutt.

Pacer Shikhar Pandey too has been impressive, while left-arm spin duo of Radha Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad has kept things tight.

Australia, led by Meg Lanning, are backing themselves to win in front of the home fans though a sizable number of Indian fans too is expected at the iconic MCG.

Eastern Eye

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