India vs England: Three talking points from the third T20I game

India vs England: Three talking points from the third T20I game

After having won the first two T20I games against India, England clinched a nail-biting 1-run win in the third and final game at Guwahati.  

From restricted England within a below par to Smriti Mandhana’s half-century and Kate Cross’ final over, the game saw plenty of things.

Here are the three talking points from the game

Clinical performance by India spinners

Image Source – ICC

Having won the toss and elected to bat first, England openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont gave a flying start. From hitting a huge maximum in the second over off Deepti Sharma to hitting back to back boundaries off Shikha Pandey in the very next over, both the batters started hitting all over the park. Their stormy innings helped them to put up 42 runs within the powerplay.

To stop the run flow, captain Smriti Mandhana brought back Anuja Patil in the 8th over; who was playing her first match in the series and conceded only three runs in her first over. The decision became fruitful as her second delivery picked up Danielle Wyatt. It was wide outside off, Wyatt tried to hit but landed in the short third man where Poonam Yadav was standing. The first breakthrough came for India in the form of her dismissal.

Next was Natalie Sciver; who got bowled by Poonam Yadav in the very next over. Sciver had a rather forgettable T20I series as she went for a six-ball duck. Anuja Patil struck again and picked up Beaumont in the next over and England were soon reduced to 54-3 after 10 overs.

From that onwards, England were never looked in control and wickets started falling at regular interval. Due to some brilliant spells from the spinners, England were restricted within 119-6 after 20 overs.

Smriti Mandhana’s blitzy half-century

Image Source – The Indian Express

After having restricted England within a below-par total of 119, India too tried to get a flying start but opener Harleen Deol couldn’t stay long as she fell for 1 in the second over to Shrubsole. Her dismissal brought Jemimah Rodrigues in the crease. But her struggle continued as she scored mere 11 off 22.

However, Mandhana was there at the other end. After getting dismissed very early in the first two games, she played a captain’s knock in the third game. She has troubled every bowler by hitting boundaries. When Rodrigues got dismissed she was on 39 and India were 59-2. That time India needed a partnership to win the game.

Mandhana got the partner in the form of veteran Mithali Raj; who is best known for her ability to anchor the innings. Both started building a stable partnership. While Mandhana as a set batter, took the charge, Mithali supported her brilliantly. In the 11th over, Mandhana completed her ninth T20I half-century in 32 balls.

Both the batters were looking comfortable in the middle. But England were looking for a wicket so that India’s run-chase becomes slow. Laura Marsh was successful to break the partnership as she picked up dangerous Smriti Mandhana for 58. It was a flatter delivery around off and Mandhana was looking to hit towards third man but the ball went straight and took the inside edge and hit the stumps. Mandhana’s 39-ball 58 included 8 boundaries and a six.

When she got dismissed, India needed 33 runs to win in 7 overs. It was an easy job for India as the experienced Mithali Raj was at the crease and India had some other batters as well who were able to get past the line.

The final over

Image Source – Sky Sports

It says that the penultimate over of an innings is more important than the final over. But here, the last over made all the difference. India needed 18 runs in last three over. Natalie Sciver came for the 18th over. Mithali Raj was on the strike, hit the boundary towards the third man on the first delivery and another on the fifth delivery towards point region. That took off the pressure off from the inexperienced Bharati Fulmali. Mithali Raj hit a boundary over the cover in the next over and India were needed only 3 runs in the final over.

To conceded mere 3 runs, England captain Heather Knight took the responsibility to Kate Cross; who didn’t get any wickets before in the game. Fulmali wasn’t able to rotate the strike on the first three deliveries. Kate Cross was so accurate in her line and length and Fulmali couldn’t handle the pressure.

She hit the fourth ball direct to the mid-off player and got dismissed for 5. Anuja Patil came in. It was not difficult for her as she is known as ‘T20 specialist’. But she missed the line and got stumped in the fifth ball. Shikha Pandey faced the final delivery and managed to score only one run and England claimed a scintillating 1-run win in the final encounter.

On the other end, Mithali Raj was standing helplessly. She was timing the ball well but didn’t get a chance to face a single ball in the last over. Kate Cross bowled an exceptional over and England managed to restrict within 118.

Also Read: Mandhana is India’s overseas hero

India vs England: Three talking points from the second T20I

India - England

England clinched the three-match T20I series by winning the second game by 5 wickets against India at Guwahati on March 7. 

England won the toss and elected to field first. Put into bat, India put up 23 runs in the first two overs and after that, the wickets started falling at a regular interval. Once again India’s batting collapsed in front of England’s bowling and they managed to put up mere 111 after 20 overs.

Chasing the mere 112, England too lost 5 wickets but Danielle Wyatt’s stable 64 guides England to a convincing win. With this win, England won the series as well by 2-0.

Here are the three talking points from the second encounter:

Katherine Brunt’s formidable form

Put into bat, India tried to score quickly within the powerplay where the opener Harleen Deol welcomed the bowler with a boundary. In the second over, captain Smriti Mandhana started with the six over mid-off and ended the over with another six over mid-on off Anya Shrubsole and put up 23 runs within 2 overs.

Till then everything was looking perfect. But Katherine Brunt had another plan. Captain Heather Knight gave the responsibility to her senior-most bowler Katherine Brunt. The first ball of the 3rd over was a dot ball while the second one was for a single. The trap was set for Mandhana in the third ball. Brunt gave a fuller length delivery and tempted Mandhana for a drive. But she failed to do so that produced outside edge and Amy Jones made no mistake as she took a well-judged low catch.

Also Read: India vs England: Three talking points from the first T20I

Brunt came back for the fifth over where opener Harleen Deol hit a boundary in the second delivery towards backward point. Jemimah Rodrigues was on strike during the final ball of the over. She was standing deep in the crease and hoped to slog it across the line but played it down the wrong line and Brunt’s pace was too fast to handle. She was bowled for 2.

After that, wickets started falling at regular intervals. It was when the debutant Bharti Fulmali was looking confident and trying for big shots, Brunt cam for her final over. Brunt gave a slower delivery, Fulmali backed away to drive it wide of cover but failed to hit the bat and it smashed her stumps. The economical spells from the bowlers restricted India within a below per.

India’s dismal performance in batting

India is going through a transitional phase. They are currently looking out their best eleven in the T20s as the ICC World T20 2020 will be held in less than a year. After having lost in the semi-final of the ICC World T20 last year, India hasn’t won a single T20 game since then.

In New Zealand, only Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues were in form and scored most of the runs. Apart from them, no other batter was able to contribute in the middle and It is almost known by now that if you can dismiss Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues within the powerplay, then India will certainly be on backfoot.

The same thing is going on in the ongoing T20 series against England. Like the first T20, India had a dismal batting performance. After having lost Mandhana, Rodrigues and Harleen Deol within the powerplay, Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma tried to steady the ship, added 35 runs but a decent throw dismissed Sharma for 18 and left India struggling at 69-4 after 13 overs.

However, to accelerate the score, Mithali tried to hit big but ended up giving a catch to Winfield at long-on. India was never into the game as they were not able to make a strong partnership and fall of wickets at regular interval ended there inning at 111/8 after 20 overs.

Danielle Wyatt and Lauren Winfield’s 47-run partnership

After having restricted India within 111 on board, England was all confident to secure their second win in the series. Openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont gave a flying start to their team and added 28 runs in 5 overs.

However, Radha Yadav handed over the first breakthrough to India. It was a full and quick delivery and Beaumont came down the track which skidded through bat and pad and ended up smashing the leg stump.

The next was Poonam Yadav who struck again in her first over as she picked up Jones for 5. Ekta Bisht too didn’t allow Sciver and Knight to become more dangerous and trapped both of them in the 9th and 11th over respectively before the stumps for 1 and 2.

England was soon reduced to 57-4 after 11 overs and the pressure fell upon Wyatt and Winfield to get past the winning line. They started building the partnership where Wyatt took the charge and Winfield supported her well. 

Both of them started timing the ball well and when they got settled down, it became difficult for the bowlers to dismiss them. Their steady partnership helped England to reach the 100-run mark in 17 overs. However, in the 18th over, Deepti Sharma broke the 47-run partnership when she picked up Winfield for 29 with a well-judged catch by Rodrigues.

By then, England was pretty much on the way of winning. Wyatt’s stable knock of 64 off 55 made the winning foundation for her team. England won the game by 5 wickets and took an unassailable lead of 2-0 in this three-match T20I series.

Both the team will play their final T20I match on March 9 in Guwahati, Assam.

India vs England: Three talking points from the first T20I

India vs England: Three talking points from the first T20I

After having clinched the three-match ODI series by 2-1 against England, India faced England in the first T20I at Guwahati where they lost by 41 runs. 

After having won the last ODI, England continued their good form in the 1st T20I match. From the first wicket partnership to restricting India within a below par, England were far better than India.

There was not only one point, but in every way, England dominated their counterpart – be it opener Tammy Beaumont’s blitzy half-century, captain Heather Knight’s quickfire 40 or bowlers’ economical spells.

With this convincing win, England took an unassailable lead of 1-0 in the three-match T20I series.

Let’s have a look at three talking points from the 1st T20I at Guwahati:

The opening partnership between Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont

Image Source – ECB

After having won in the toss, India elected to field. Put into bat, England managed only just 14 runs in the first three overs. But after that, it was all the batters’ show.

In the fourth over, both Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont started opening their arms, hit three boundaries to Deepti Sharma. The way Tammy Beaumont and Danielle Wyatt played the shots, were a treat to watch. They found the gaps with ease.

Their formidable form helped them to reach 50-run mark within seven overs. It became difficult for the India bowlers to get past them when both the batters got set at the crease. They both added 89-run together to provide a solid foundation for their team.

However, Shikha Pandey handed over the first breakthrough to India. Wyatt missed the back length delivery, nearly found the gap and hit over the cover. Mandhana did no mistake, moved to her right and grabbed a fantastic catch. She dismissed for 35 but till then she already did the damage in the bowling line up.

Heather Knight’s blitzy 40

Image Source – Sky Sports

Put into bat, England openers Danielle Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont made a solid foundation of 89 runs. However, Wyatt dismissed for 35 and soon Natalie Sciver too joined her in the dugout after scoring mere 4.

At that time, captain Heather Knight came to her side’s rescue and tried to steady the ship with Tammy Beaumont. She looked comfortable right from the start of her innings. Along with Beaumont, she added a 59-run.

However, India tried to their best and restricted England to 124 for 2 in 17 overs. But one over changed the game in England’s favour. In the 18th over, Knight hit Arundhati Reddy for five consecutive fours which guided England to score 160 after 20 overs.

Economical bowling from the bowlers

Image Source –

After having lost in the toss and put into bat, England had a good time with the bat. With the 89-run opening partnership and Heather Knight’s blitzy 40, they put up a decent competitive total of 160 on board.

In the second innings, it was on bowlers how they could perform and restrict India. However, they showed an impressive form. Like the last ODI, the veteran Katherine Brunt was the first one to give a breakthrough to her team as she picked up Harleen Deol for 8.

Though it was not a matter of tension, as the two best of the batters – Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues were on the crease. But it was Linsey Smith who left India into big trouble as she picked up the two big wickets of Mandhana and Rodrigues in her consecutive deliveries in the fourth over.

Two new batters – Mithali Raj and Veda Krishnamurthy were on the crease and before they could settle down properly, Mithali Raj got out by Kate Cross. Growing asking rate left no option except for big hitting and that led Mithali Raj’s dismissal in the 9th over. Veda Krishnamurthy was next to follow and India were reduced to 46-5 after the halfway mark.

Bowlers’ economical spell didn’t allow the batters to settle down on the crease for a long time. However, Deepti Sharma, Arundhati Reddy, and Shikha Pandey added 63 runs between them so that the chase went till the last over. But that was not enough for India to win and England claimed a thumping 41-run win over India.

The second T20I will be played at the same ground on Thursday, March 7.

Also Read: How England is shaping up for World Cup 2019?

India vs England: 3 talking points from the third encounter

After having lost the first two encounters due to poor performances, England bounced back beautifully in the third match of their three-match ODI series against India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. 

Both the teams made one change to their playing eleven. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad came in place of Ekta Bisht whereas Danielle Wyatt replaced injured Sophie Ecclestone in their playing XI; which turned out to be a shrewd decision, with Wyatt putting in a match-winning performance.

However, India once again lost in the third encounter of the three-match ODI series for the fourth time in their ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20). Earlier, they lost in their third match to South Africa and Sri Lanka in 2018 after having won the series. This year, the same thing happened as they lost to New Zealand earlier this year and then to England.

Though with this series win, India continued their winning streak against England at their home soil.

Let’s have a look at three talking points from their third encounter:

Stable partnership between Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut

Image Source – ICC Cricket

India won the toss and elected to bat first. However, India’s innings did not start on a high note as their opener Jemimah Rodrigues once again dismissed for a two-ball duck to Brunt. Her dismissal brought Punam Raut on the crease. Smriti Mandhana, who has been in a great form, tried to steady the ship with Punam Raut. Both added 129-run together to provide a solid foundation in the total.

In her 50th ODI game, Smriti Mandhana scored another half-century in 56 balls. She hit the ball behind square, took a single and completed her 16th half-century. Raut, who got dismissed on 32 in the second game, played a steady inning and scored her 11th half-century.

Both of them looked comfortable in the middle until 28th over as Brunt dismissed both of them in the 29th over and from thereafter, India’s struggle of scoring started. Smriti Mandhana scored a 74-ball 66 which included eight boundaries and a six. Her partner, Raut scored 56 off 97 with seven boundaries.

Katherine Brunt’s firing spell

Image Source – Samaa TV

Elected to bat first, India made a solid foundation with their two experienced players – Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut. Both of them added 129 runs in 28th over. Mandhana scored her 16th ODI half-century and Raut scored her 11th ODI half-century. They were literally destroying England’s bowling attack and at that point of time, England was searching the ways to break the partnership.

Captain Heather Knight gave the responsibility to her senior-most bowler Katherine Brunt; who came, saw and conquered. The first two balls of the 29th over were dot balls. Mandhana hit the first one towards mid-on while the second one was full outside off. The trap was set for Mandhana in the third ball. Brunt changed the pace and it was a short ball. Mandhana pulled and hit it towards deep square leg which safely landed in Wyatt’s hands. That was the breakthrough which England were looking for a long time.

The over literally belonged to Brunt only. Another set batter Punam Raut faced the last delivery of the over. It was fuller length delivery which Raut tried to push but the gap between her bat and pad allowed the ball to slip through the gap and hit the stumps. Raut was bowled for 56 and India were reduced to 131-3 by the end of the 29th overs.

India left with two new batters on the crease – captain Mithali Raj and Mona Meshram. Like every team, they too were trying to build another partnership. But Brunt had other plans as she picked up Meshram in the fourth ball of the over when she was trapped before the stumps. Meshram once again went for a duck.

Brunt came for her seventh over. India captain Mithali Raj was on strike during the fourth ball of the over. It was a pitched up delivery and Raj was a little late in getting her bat down, she played it outside the line. It was a big inside edge which hit her pad and went upwards where Sarah Taylor did no mistake and took a well-judged catch. At first, they appealed for Leg before, but the umpire decided to give it a caught out after seeing the ball in Taylor’s gloves.

India captain departed for 7. It was Brunt’s fifth five-wicket haul. India started struggling at 143-5 by the end of the 33 overs and England were back in the game by then. Brunt single-handedly changed the way of the game and from there, India were not able to back in the game again and managed to put up 205 in their allotted overs.

Heather Knight and Danielle Wyatt’s 69-run partnership

Image Source –

After having restricted India within 205 on board, England were all confident to secure their first win in the series. Openers Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont gave a flying start to their team where Jones welcomed Goswami with a boundary. Both added 25 runs in 5 overs.

However, Goswami handed over the first breakthrough to India. It was a short delivery and Jones went for a pull short. It got a top-edge and Mandhana took an easy catch at mid-on. Beaumont looked composed in the middle and hit Shikha Pandey for a boundary and a six in the eighth over. Goswami struck again in the 9th over as she picked up Winfield for 2.

Goswami didn’t allow Beaumont to become more dangerous as she picked up Beaumont for 21 with Meshram taking a catch at slip. Deepti Sharma was next who bagged the wicket of Natalie Sciver. Sarah Taylor, who came to bat at number 5, too went for another low score (2) and left England struggling at 49-5 after 15 overs.

Danielle Wyatt then joined her captain Heather Knight at the crease. The pressure fell upon them to get past the winning line. They started building the partnership where Knight took the charge and Wyatt supported her well. Knight hit to back to back boundaries in the 16th over and did the same in the next over also.

Both of them particularly chose spinners to score big. Their steady partnership helped England to reach 100-run mark within 26 overs. However, in the 31st over, Poonam Yadav broke the 69-run partnership when she picked up Knight for 47 with a well-judged catch by Bhatia.

England were 118-6 when they lost their captain. However, Wyatt made another 56-run partnership with Georgia Elwiss before getting dismissed after scoring her first ODI half-century (56 off 82). Her inning made the winning foundation for her team. Later, Elwiss and Brunt added another 30 runs before she got out for 18.

Elwiss, however, stood strong at the other end, scored a 53-ball 33 and helped England get past the line along with Anya Shrubsole who finished the game in style by hitting a boundary through square leg.

Both the team will now play a three-match T20I series from March 4 in Guwahati, Assam.

India vs England: 3 talking points from the second encounter

India vs England: 3 talking points from the second encounter

India clinched the three-match ODI series against England by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead with a comprehensive win at Mumbai on Monday, 25 February. 

Like the 1st ODI, England had a dismal performance, again. Apart from Natalie Sciver, other batters failed to get going and could add only 161 and bowled out prior o their allotted 50 overs.

There was not only one point, but in every way, India dominated their counterpart – be it opener Smriti Mandhana’s blitzy half-century, captain Mithali Raj’s unbeaten 47 or Jhulan Goswami-Shikha Pandey’s four-wicket haul each.

With this convincing win, India continued their winning streak against England at their home soil. India first hosted England in the season of 1995/96 and they have never lost to England in an ODI series at home against them. This is their sixth series win against England at home.

Let’s have a look at three talking points from the low scoring encounter at Wankhede, Mumbai:

Natalie Sciver’s fighting 85

Image Source – Indian Express

After having won the toss, England chose to bat first. But their decision soon became their nightmare as Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey cleaned up top four batters within 14 overs and left them struggling at 44/4.

Sciver came to her side’s rescue and tried to steady the ship with Lauren Winfield. She looked comfortable right from the start of her innings. Along with Lauren Winfield, she added a 49-run partnership before Winfield got dismissed and left England struggling at 93/5.

It was at that point when she ensured that she did not lose her wicket as well as took the charge of scoring. Sciver then decided to hit Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav mainly, after not getting any room from the two pacers. However, both Georgia Elwiss and Katherine Brunt departed for ducks by Shikha Pandey and left England at 95/7.

Anya Shrubsole and Sophie Ecclestone tried their best to support Sciver and guided till 119/9. At that point, England’s innings looked like it would end soon. However, the last wicket partnership between Alex Hartley and Natalie Sciver slowly build the innings from there on and added 42 runs in eight overs; where Alex Hartley scored no runs.

It was a solo effort from Natalie Sciver which helped England to put up 161 on board.

Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey’s masterclass pace-bowling

Image Source – The Indian Express

After Heather Knight won the toss and decided to bat first on a wicket that was batting friendly at first along with spin friendly, the Indian fast bowlers were right on their skill which certainly troubled England throughout the series.

Both Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey were bowling with a plan. Goswami’s accurate line along with Pandey’s inswingers didn’t five the batters any room to free their hands; which eventually worked very well. Australia lost their three top-order batters within the powerplay.

Their economical spell didn’t allow the batters to settle down on the crease for a long time. Except for Tammy Beaumont, Natalie Sciver and Lauren Winfield; who did reach the double figures only. Among them, only Sciver was there who scored a stable 109-ball 85.

Goswami and Pandey bowled 12 of the first 14 overs and left England struggling at 44/4. The duo returned for their second spell and cleaned up England’s middle and lower-middle order. Goswami ended up taking 4 wickets in her 8.3 overs while Pandey took her career-best 4/18 in her 10 overs spell.

Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey take eight wickets between them which is by far the most wickets taken by India’s pacers in any ODI.

Charismatic Smriti Mandhana and elegant Mithali Raj

Image Source – The Hindu

After England put up a mere total of 161 on board, India’s chase did not start on a high note as their in-form opener Jemimah Rodrigues struggled to score and finally getting dismissed for a 10-ball duck.

However, Smriti Mandhana, who didn’t score big in the first ODI, fulfilled in the second. After Rodrigues’ dismissal, she tried to steady the ship with Punam Raut; who replaced newcomer Harleen Deol in the playing XI and both added 73-run together to provide a solid foundation for the run chase.

Raut meanwhile missed Elwiss’ delivery down leg-side and Sarah Taylor’s lightning-quick glove work sent her in the dugout for 32. The captain Mithali Raj joined her vice-captain at the crease. Both made another strong partnership of 66 runs. Mandhana scored her 19th half-century by hitting Ecclestone to a boundary between deep fine and deep mid.

Mandhana’s half-century levelled former captain Anjum Chopra’s record of the scoring half-century. Only present captain Mithali Raj, has more 50+ scores for India. However, she scored 63 off 74 with seven fours and a six before getting trapped in front of the wicket by Anya Shrubsole when India required only 22 runs to win.

On the other hand, Mithali Raj played another captain’s knock, along with a brilliant captaincy earlier in the game, showed her class and stamped her authority in her unbeaten 47 off 69; which included eight boundaries. However, the winning runs came from the captain’s bat when she hit Elwiss over mid-wicket and finished the game in style.

The third and final ODI will be played at the same ground on Thursday, February 28. After the completion of the ODI series, both the teams will play a three-match T20I series at Guwahati from March 4.

Also Read: Mithali Raj become the first cricketer to feature in 200 matches

Harmanpreet Kaur rules out of England ODIs; Harleen Deol gets maiden call-up

Injured Harmanpreet Kaur rules out of England ODIs; Harleen Deol gets maiden call-up

India got the big blow prior to the One Day International (ODI) series against England as Harmanpreet Kaur ruled out of the series due to an ankle injury. 

India T20 captain as well as ODI vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been ruled out of the three-match ODI series against England in Mumbai due to an ankle injury. The three-match ODI series will be a part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20) which is scheduled to be played from February 22.

Kaur has been suffering from the injury for quite some time now. Her injury got worse a few days ago when she was training under coach Munish Bali in Patiala. She even trained with the team during the fielding session on Tuesday, but later it was found that she isn’t fit yet. She underwent a scan later in the day where it was revealed that she has a grade-2 tear in the left ankle.

“Harmanpreet Kaur has suffered an ankle injury after returning from New Zealand and is ruled out of the upcoming three-match Paytm ODI series against England Women,” read the release from the BCCI

The 29-year-old will fly to Bangalore soon for a consultation at the National Cricket Academy. There her injury will be evaluated further.

“Harmanpreet was unable to participate fully in the team training session because of pain and will now head to NCA in Bengaluru for her rehab.”

Harmanpreet Kaur’s injury has opened the door for the newbie Harleen Deol; who got her maiden call-up. The bowling all-rounder from Himachal Pradesh has got the chance for an impressive performance in the Challenger Trophy last month.

She was a part of the warm-up game against England on Monday, where she hit four boundaries in her 29-ball 21 for the Board President’s XI prior to her dismissal by Natalie Sciver. The opening batter who also bats in the middle-order, Deol had played a pivotal role in Himachal Pradesh’s journey to the semi-finals in the One Day tournament during the domestic season 2018-19.

Also Read: Harmanpreet questioned by BCCI over fake graduation degree

However, nothing has been decided yet whether Harmanpreet Kaur will play in the three-match Twenty20 International series which will be played after the ODI series. The three-match T20I series will be played in Guwahati on March 4, 7 and 9. This is the first time Kaur is going to miss an entire international tournament because of injury. Earlier, she didn’t take part in the Kia Super League in 2017 edition in England because of an injury.

Harmanpreet Kaur leads the team in the shortest format of the game and if she fails to recover in the scheduled time, the T20 vice-captain Smriti Mandhana will lead the team in the series. Earlier, Mandhana had led her state Maharashtra in the domestic circuit. She has also led India Red to the title win in the 50-over Challenger Trophy in January 2018. Recently, she led the Board President’s XI in the warm-up game with the example.

India’s squad for ODI series: 

Mithali Raj (Captain), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), R Kalpana (wicket-keeper), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Harleen Deol

BCCI are ready to run Women’s T20 exhibition matches during IPL 2019

BCCI are ready to run Women's T20 exhibition matches during IPL 2019

The BCCI is all set to organise Women’s T20 exhibition matches during the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019). 

According to the ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI is going to repeat their action by arranging Women’s T20 exhibition matches during the IPL. Along with Indian players, overseas players will be featured too in the games. 

During the last year’s IPL, the BCCI had conducted one Women’s T20 exhibition match at the Wankhede Stadium on May 22 in Mumbai, but this year the board has decided that they will conduct more than one matches during that period.

The planning of starting these exhibition matches during the IPL has been going for a couple of months now. Though, a full-fledged league is not possible in India now as they don’t have depth in the domestic pool of players. However, Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Kia Super League (KSL) are pretty much popular in Australia and England respectively. Eight teams participate in WBBL while six teams play in KSL. India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy have been featured in these leagues already along with other overseas players.

Last year in Mumbai, two teams had played in the exhibition match – the IPL Supernovas and the IPL Trailblazers. Both the team comprised of overseas players along with Indian players. The match was an experiment of starting an IPL style Women’s T20 league in India.

Also Read: Indian women cricket Team played its 100th T20I

The match was a nail-biting one as the game went to the last ball and the match was televised by the board’s host broadcaster, Star Sports. Though there were not much crowd at the venue, because the game had started at 2 pm and it was on a weekday. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were the captains of the Supernovas and the Trailblazers respectively. Harmanpreet’s Supernovas registered the victory by three wickets.

New Zealand’s former captain Suzie Bates won the ‘Player of the Match’ award for her all-round performance, despite being on the losing side. The match also featured other celebrated overseas players including Australia captain Meg Lanning, all-rounder Ellyse Perry and the wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy, England’s Danielle Wyatt and Danielle Hazell, and New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine and Lea Tahuhu.

The board, however, has decided to arrange a couple of matches this year as a follow-up to last year’s exhibition match. It is understood that this year there might be two teams too and the two teams will play a three-match series. However, it is expected that the teams might be composed of a maximum of four overseas players per side, similar to the men’s IPL.

BCCI is still waiting for the IPL schedule to be finalised as the date for the General Elections in India is yet to be announced. However, a proper plan is yet to be chalk out, though, both the BCCI and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) have approved the idea. It is expected that after the IPL schedule is out, the BCCI will plan accordingly.

Mithali less India collapses against New Zealand despite Mandhana’s record fifty

Mithali less India collapses against New Zealand despite Mandhana's record fifty

From a winning position of 102 for 1 in the 12th over to bowled out for 136 in their chase of 159 in 20 overs, New Zealand registered a 23-run victory in the first T20I at Westpac Stadium, Wellington. 

Mithali Raj again found herself out of the playing XI after India’s tragic end in the semi-final of ICC World T20 2018 against England. Mithali has scored 51 and 56 in her last two outings. After India’s 23 runs lost, T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur said Raj’s exclusion was “only” to give more chances to the youngsters in the team, keeping the 2020 World Cup in mind.

“Well, we are just looking to give chance to young girls,” Harmanpreet said. “We only have these three overseas games and after that, we are playing in more Indian conditions and I think that’s the only reason we’re giving chances to the young girls.”

However, Kaur praised the bowlers for their efforts.

“Bowlers did really well as this track was really good to bat on. We still restricted them to 159. But in the last 10 overs we didn’t bat well,” Harmanpreet Kaur said. “We need to improve our batting in the last 10 overs. That is the area we are always struggling. We need someone who can give us a good strike-rate when we are finishing the innings.”

Talking points of the match:

Smriti Mandhana’s ravishing form:

Image Source – Dainik Bhaskar

India’s left-hand opener Smriti Mandhana has been in a great form for the last year. Having smashed centuries in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia, she has become a trump card of India in overseas. While playing against New Zealand during the first T20I match, she broke her own record of smashing half-century in 25 balls. Today she took 24 balls, the fastest ever T20I half-century by an Indian in Women’s Cricket.

She never looked under pressure while facing Lea Tahuhu while others were struggling. India are over-dependent on Mandhana we can say now. She got dismissed after scoring 58 off 34 and felt that she should have batted till the end and she should be more careful with shot selection.

“Tactically, the best option according to me is that I bat all through. But we will have a discussion about this and I feel it is better that one of the top batters bat through till the 18th over or so so that after that the rest can rally around them,” Smriti Mandhana said after the match. “You have to pick the areas and go for the correct shots. And when we had the run rate under control, under seven, my shot was a bad one to play.”

Lack of partnership in the middle-order:

Image Source – The Week

India were flying high with the Mandhana-Rodrigues’ stormy innings. After Mithali Raj’s exclusion from the squad and Priya Punia made her debut, India were setting a core team for the next T20 World Cup in 2020. But Punia’s debut match didn’t go well as she fell for 4.

Soon, the situation got changed as Mandhana, along with Jemimah Rodrigues took the charge. Both started hitting all over the park. When they got their eyes in, it became difficult for the bowlers to get past them. Both added 98 runs for the second wicket and India reached 102 after 11.3 overs before Mandhana’s dismissal. Hannah Rowe took a well-judged catch at deep-cover and sent her in. Rodrigues was next to follow.

Apart from their innings and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 17 off 15, no other batter was able to reach the double-digit. In a chase of 160, India were bundled out within 136 as the middle and lower middle order batters were unable to carry the momentum till the end. Till the 12th over, the game was pretty much in India’s court as they were at 102/1 but a dismal batting performance under pressure from the middle and lower middle order caused their defeat.

“We were cruising till the 12th over, but in T20 there is always a chance of collapse and we have to be watchful from now on. I don’t think it’s a good idea to think much about the past and we will have to think about the next match,” said Mandhana.

At times, the team might felt the absence of experienced Mithali Raj; who has the ability to anchor the innings. Arguably one of the best batters in the world, Mithali, would have played the other way in the game.

Also Read: BCCI questioned Harmanpreet over fake Graduation degree

An all-round performance from New Zealand:

Image Source – Sky Sports

Though New Zealand lost their opener, Suzie Bates, very early, another opener Sophie Devine took the anchor’s role. The winning foundation made by her at first. She and Caitlin Gurrey added 36 runs before the later got out for 15.

Then Devine made a partnership with the captain Amy Satterthwaite. Both added 69 runs before Devine’s dismissal. Later Katey Martin ensured that the team went past 150 marks. Her two sixes and one boundary helped her team to reach 159 after 20 overs.

Later, bowlers did the rest of the job. Apart from Mandhana-Rodrigues pair, no other batter troubled White Ferns. Lea Tahuhu was the most successful bowler and ended up taking three wickets for 20. Leigh Kasperek and Amelia Kerr bagged two wickets each while the other bowlers scalped one each. Seven of the last eight batters got dismissed within 33 runs.

With this win, White Ferns have taken an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series. Both the teams will face each other on Friday, February 6th.

Smriti Mandhana tops the chart of ICC ODI batting rankings

Smriti Mandhana tops the chart of ICC ODI batting rankings

India’s left-hand opener Smriti Mandhana has topped the chart of ICC ODI Batting Rankings after scoring a blistering century and a blitz 90* in the three-match ODI series in New Zealand. 

Smriti Mandhana, who surpassed Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry, has moved up three spots in the ODI Batters’ Rankings to reach the no. 1 spot. After scoring the fourth ODI century in the first match of the three-match ODI series, Mandhana also became the first Indian as well as the second woman cricketer to score centuries in South Africa-England-New Zealand-Australia. 

Mandhana, who has been in an impressive form, has scored two centuries and eight half-centuries in 15 matches since the beginning of the last year, 2018. She became India’s one of the most dependable batters as well as the trump card for the overseas. Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry and captain Meg Lanning slipped at the second and the third position respectively.

White Ferns’ captain Amy Satterthwaite, who scored two half-centuries in the recently concluded ODI series against India has jumped to 10 spots up in the rankings and moved to the fourth spot; while her counterpart, the ODI captain of Mithali Raj; who recently played her 200 ODI match, has slipped a spot and currently placed at No 5.

Satterthwaite has scored four half-centuries in her last 10 ODIs while Mithali Raj, too has been in a good form and scored her 52nd ODI half-century against White Ferns.

After having scored a half-century in Hamilton, Former New Zealand captain and one of the best batters of all time, Suzie Bates, who smashed a half-century in the third ODI against India, has moved one place up and currently stays at the fifth spot.

Also read: Smriti Mandhana becomes India’s trump card in overseas

Lizelle Lee of South Africa has dropped down two places and placed at the seventh spot. Tammy Beaumont of England too has moved down two places to No. 8 while Windies captain Stafanie Taylor and Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu both have dropped down by one spot each and completed the top 10 ranking chart.

Jemimah Rodrigues, the batting sensation of India; who have opened the innings for India with another star batter Smriti Mandhana, has scored a half-century in the first ODI against New Zealand in Napier; which helped her to a huge rise in the ranking of 64 places. She now sits at No. 61 in the rankings and she has played just seven ODIs after making her debut in March last year against Australia.

In the bowler’s rankings, India’s pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami has performed really well against New Zealand. She has moved a spot above to No. 4 for her 3/23 in the second match against the Kiwi. Former Pakistan captain Sana Mir, Australia’s speedster Megan Schutt and South Africa all-rounder Marizanne Kapp are placed above Jhulan Goswami in the list.

India’s spin troika Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, and Deepti Sharma have gained five spots each in the chart. Poonam and Deepti have entered the top ten list in the rankings and placed in the eighth and ninth place respectively. Left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht too moved up nine places to No 13 after scalping five wickets in the series against New Zealand.

Lea Tahuhu, the pacer of New Zealand, has bagged four wickets in the series against India and jumped nine places up to No. 16 in the ODI bowling rankings. Anna Peterson, who picked up five wickets in the three matches, had a notable rise of 13 spots and currently placed at No. 45 in the rankings.

There was nearly no change among the all-rounders. Ellyse Perry of Australia is still the No. 1 among the all-rounders’. White Ferns all-rounder Sophie Devine jumped up to one place to No. 9 which means Windies all-rounder Deandra Dottin has moved down to No. 10. Apart from that, there was no change in the top 10 all-rounders’ chart.

Mithali Raj becomes the first woman cricketer to feature in 200 ODIs

Mithali Raj becomes the first woman cricketer to feature in 200 ODIs

Mithali Raj, the ODI captain of India, became the first woman cricketer to feature in 200 One Day Internationals (ODIs) in the third match of the three-match series against New Zealand on Friday at Seddon Park in Hamilton. 

‘Record-Breaker’- the title perfectly suits Mithali Raj, the batting maestro as well as the flag bearer of women’s cricket for almost two decades in India. She is not only re-writing the history with her bat and leadership skill but has achieved another milestone in her life also. She inscribed her name in record books all over again with the 200 ODI appearances. Yes, there is probably nothing in international cricket, which she couldn’t achieve so far.

As a little kid, Mithali was too lazy and to inculcate the habit of early rising, her father Dorai Raj took her to the cricket academy. There she used to play with the boys under the late Sampath Kumar’s guidance. He was the first person who saw the spark in Mithali and said that she will have a bright career ahead. Back then, Mithali used to love dancing more than cricket.

Having started playing at the age of 10, she got her maiden call-up in the national team at the age of 16. At 16 years and 205 days, in her debut match against Ireland, she scored an unbeaten century. From that time to today, she has been having a career span of 19 years and 219 days and counting… which is the longest career among women cricketers. Only Sachin Tendulkar (463), Sanath Jayasuriya (445) and Javid Miandad (233) have had the longer International career than the India ODI captain.

Debut at the age of 16, Raj is the only woman cricketer to score more than 6,000 runs in ODIs with an average of more than 50 plus. Since her debut, she has missed only 13 ODIs and featured in 75.19 per cent of all the ODIs India have ever played from the beginning. She is one of those 5 players, who scored centuries in their debut matches.

Also read: “We definitely want to make it 3-0,” says Mithali Raj

She is the first player to score seven consecutive half-centuries in ODIs. She also holds the record for most half-centuries in ODIs (52) as well as the most 90s. Her 90s are no less important than a century, as most of those knocks came under pressure. During the Women’s T20 Asia Cup in June 2018, she became the first player from India (either male or female) to score 2000 runs in the shortest format of the game.

Mithali Raj also became the first woman cricketer to reach the feat. She is the only captain to lead India twice in ICC Women’s World Cup final, in 2005 and 2017. She has also captained India 123 times, more than any other captain in the women’s ODI. Former player Charlotte Edwards is at the second place with 117 games. She became the most capped player in the history of Women’s ODIs on Friday, 6th April 2018 during the first match between India and England in the three-match ODI series. Now, this 200th appearance in ODI has added another feather in her hat.

She holds another record in run chasing. She averages 111.29 in 48 successful chases where she was unbeaten 31 times. This average is better than MS Dhoni (103.07) and Virat Kohli (96.23). The next best average in successful run chases in women’s cricket is Australia captain Meg Lanning’s (78.34).

Since she has achieved this feat, let’s reminisces some of her wonderful innings:

114* vs Irela1999nd ():

Having made her debut at 16 years 205 days during India’s tour of Ireland and England, she became the youngest woman cricketer to make a century while opening the innings. She and another debutant Reshma Gandhi made an unbroken 258-run stand which became a national record.

After 9 long years, the record was broken by Caroline Atkins and Sarah Taylor against South Africa on August 8, 2008. Later it took another 9 years to break the record. This time it was another Indian pair – Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut. Both of them scored 320 runs against Ireland on May 15, 2017.

Raj and Gandhi’s unbeaten 258-run stand remains the third-highest first-wicket partnership in women’s cricket till date. Mithali’s game had impressed everyone on her debut match and Indian Women’s Cricket had found their most dependable batter whose passion for the game still keeps her going.

91* vs New Zealand (2005):

This unbeaten 91 was one of her favourite knocks because her knock helped India to reach their first World Cup final. India were reduced to 38/2 within 14th over when the young captain Mithali Raj came into bat.

She found great support from Anjum Chopra and India put up 204 at the end of the 50 overs. Raj was dealing with a bad knee injury and she had to overcome it because the team was needed her the most that time. During the second innings, she couldn’t take the field due to her swollen knee. However, India claimed a ravishing 40-run win in the game.

94* vs England (2012):

Another favourite knock of Mithali Raj was her unbeaten 94 against England at Lord’s in 2012. Her knock helped to break England’s winning streak. Raj made a hundred-run stand with Punam Raut (60) for the second wicket a further 89-run with Harmanpreet Kaur.

Raj led from the front and anchor the innings till the end. However, Kaur’s dismissal when 14 required from 15 balls led the team into trouble as Veda Krishnamurthy got out in the final ball of the penultimate over. Sulakshana Naik’s run out from the second delivery of the final over brought Raj on strike and she hit the winning runs.

103* vs Pakistan (2013):

If you criticise her, she will bounce back strongly. It was during The ICC Women’s World Cup in 2013 at home where India had a dismal performance in every game. Everyone started questioning her ability as a player as well as a captain. She remained silent and her bat gave the answer to the critics.

Playing against arch-rival Pakistan at the Barabati Stadium where chasing more than 100 was difficult, Raj’s unbeaten hundred while chasing 193, helped India to register a six-wicket win. That win helped India to maintain their unbeaten record against Pakistan as well.

109 vs New Zealand (Derby, 2017):

After 12 long years, India were on a verge of reaching the final of ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017 because of their all-round performances. But they had to win their virtual quarter-final against New Zealand.

Mithali Raj, as always became the saviour of the team. She scored 109 off 123 with 11 fours. She found good supports from Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy and made 132 and 108-run stand respectively. After her stellar century, it was Rajeshwari Gayakwad who took a fifer and New Zealand were bundled out for 79 and India had a blistering 186-run win.

Being the stalwarts of the team, Raj has seen many changes revolving around her but she stood strong and adopted every change gracefully. From joining the celebration in the end after falling wickets to staying calm and handling immense pressure tactfully; she has redefined the word ‘Captain Cool’. Reading ‘Essential Rumi’ before going to bat to slamming the trollers on social media, she has inspired the whole nation both on and off the field.

In the nearly 20-year long international career, she has gone from strength to strength, smashing one record after another. The mountain of runs is the testimony to Raj’s longevity and unflinching passion towards the game and her team. She has the gift of timing and footwork. Hope her legacy continues and she achieves many more milestones.