Advertisement

ICC WWC 2017, India Women vs Sri Lanka Women, Preview: Wounded Lankan ladies face an on song India

India Women will look for their 4th victory on the trot

Ekta Bisht of India
Ekta Bisht of India celebrates. (Photo by Dave Thompson-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Hosts and hot favorites to lift the trophy, England had no answer and the incredibly talented ladies from the Caribbean too stumbled as a rampant Indian side, who are on their quest to their first Women’s World Cup title, proved to be unstoppable. Latest of the victims were the arch rivals and neighbors Pakistan, who suffered a 95-run defeat after India had scored 169 in their 50 overs.

Up next are the neighbors on the other side Sri Lanka, who had a catastrophic start to their World Cup campaign. Barring the solo exploits from Chamari Atapattu in their second game against the Aussies(which they lost by 8 wickets) there’s absolutely nothing for the Lankan side to cheer about. They lost all their first three games of the tournament to New Zealand, Australia and England.

Advertisement

India will enter this clash as the favorites to rip their opponents apart, but no team in a World Cup can be underestimated, especially after witnessing what Pakistan(Men) did in the 1992 World Cup and the recently concluded Champions Trophy. Indians will look to consolidate their position at the top of the ladder whereas the Islanders are in a “Do or Die” situation which sets up a juicy encounter for the fans to savor.

Toss: India Women won the toss and opted to bat

Captains speak

Mithali Raj: We will bat first. It looks like a good wicket to bat, we would want to put 250 on the board. There will be some nerves chasing it. If you see, the fast bowlers from other teams too have struggled so far; maybe in the middle overs it has got something to do with the wicket slowing down and then the spinners come into play.

Inoka Ranaweera: We were ready to do both. We would like to take early wickets and put pressure on them. We would like to restrict them below 250.

Changes: Veda Krishnamurthy comes in for Mona Meshram

Playing XI:

Sri Lanka: Nipuni Hansika, Hasini Perera, Chamari Atapattu, Shashikala Siriwardene, Dilani Manodara(w), Prasadani Weerakkody, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Chandima Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Sripali Weerakkody, Inoka Ranaweera(c)

India: Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Mithali Raj(c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Sushma Verma(w), Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav

 

 

Focus will be on

Chamari Atapattu (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka are heavily dependent on one sole person’s rendition and that’s Chamari Atapattu. In their game against England, where she walked back quickly, the rest of the team fell like a pack of cards. With 232 runs in 3 games, she’s the second highest run scorer in the tournament, just 2 runs short of English skipper Heather Knight. Atapattu is the backbone of their batting line-up and a good show from her will be one step forward towards causing a major upset.

Mithali Raj (India)

Indian skipper Mithali Raj scored a brilliant 85 against Sri Lanka in the warm-up match before the main tournament had commenced. It’d be fair to say that whenever Indian women play, there’s spot light reserved for Mithali and barely anything has changed till this date. As she inches closer towards the coveted land mark of the highest run scorer in Women’s ODI cricket history, fans would be hoping for a blitzkrieg from her willow.

Playing combinations

India

Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut will be opening the batting for India, with Deepti Sharma taking the number 3 spot. Mithali Raj will take charge of the number 4 position, followed by Harmanpreet Singh and they will have the most important role in the middle order.

These positions demand a lot from the players as they will have to adjust according to the start given by the top-3, which varies in every match. Sushma Verma played a crucial inning in the middle-order against Pakistan and there would be no surprises if she gets a promotion.

Things look all sorted with the ball in hand for India as they’ve pulled off some emphatic performances in the previous games. Ekta Bisht’s spell against Pakistan will not be forgotten so easily and the likes of Mansi Joshi, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav are ever reliable. Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey will be sharing the new ball duties unless Mithali opts for a spinner in the first spell like she did in the game against Pakistan.

Sri Lanka

As you’d expect from a team that’s not had a great run, Sri Lanka might make a wholesale of changes. But Hansika, Hasini Perera, Chamari Atapattu, Siriwardene and the wicketkeeper Dilani Manodara are expected to form the top-6 respectively. Barring Atapattu, the others have had some good starts, but failed to capitalize.

England annihilated the Lankan bowlers in the previous game, by chasing a target of 206 in 30 overs. Skipper Inoka Ranaweera is yet to fire and the new ball bowlers Sripali Weerakkody and Ama Kanchana have had a mediocre tournament. Other big names in the bowling contingent like Oshadi Ranasinghe and Eshani Lokusuriyage will have to ensure their skipper doesn’t bang her head to complete the 50-over quota peacefully.

Stats Attack

29 – Chamari Atapattu has alone scored 29 fours this tournament and the entire Sri Lankan team put together notched just 38 fours.

6 – Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma enter the contest as the joint highest wicket-takers of this tournament, with six-a-piece after their name.

174 – In the 24 matches Mithali Raj played against Sri Lanka, she averages 174.6 and it’s her best against any opponent.  

Advertisement