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Women’s T20 Asia Cup: Final, IND vs BAN, Preview- Can Kaur’s India halt the giant-slaughterers?

India Women will be playing their seventh Final of the Asia Cup.

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur
Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India have been a dominant force in the history of the Women’s Asia Cup as they stomped to their 7th straight Final of the tournament. The Women in Blue commenced the event with a resounding 142-run victory versus Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur and hasn’t looked back. They ended the league phase on the top of the ladder with 4 wins from the 5 matches.

Their last match against Pakistan was a must-win one, but India showed no nerves whatsoever and thumped their arch-rivals by 7 wickets. Moreover, Harmanpreet Kaur’s troops also ensured that their Net-Run-Rate ends up at +2.466. In the Grand Finale, they will face Bangladesh who have been in stupendous form with as many wins as that of India.

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Salma Khatun’s girls lost their opening match versus Sri Lanka but made a strong statement by steamrolling India and Pakistan in their next contests. India will start the match as favourites, but with momentum on their side, Bangladesh can’t be undermined by any stretch of the imagination. Meanwhile, India will want to avenge their defeat in the league phase.

Team Combination

India

The Indian lineup is unlikely to be altered from their previous match. Mithali Raj, who became the first Indian to 2000 T20I runs, and swashbuckling batswomen Smriti Mandhana are the openers. Deepti Sharma and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur have to shepherd the middle order. Anuja Patil and Veda Krishnamurthy’s prowess with the willow also need to come to the fore.

The bowling lineup looks a formidable one as well. The onus will be on Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey to shoulder the fast bowling department. The spin trio of Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht and Deepti Sharma will have to use their slow bowling to strangle the batsmen. The part-time spin of Harmanpreet also may be required for them.

Predicted XI

Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Ekta Bisht, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Jhulan Goswami, Taniya Bhatia (wkt).

Bangladesh

The batting has done reasonably well for them and the team isn’t expected to make many changes. Shamima Sultana and Ayasha Rahman are the opening batsmen. Fargana Hogue and Sanjida Islam are the middle-order batsmen. Fahima Khatun has an impressive strike-rate of 144.44 and her role will be crucial if her team are to roll India over.

Rumana Ahmed is their highest wicket-taker with 8 wickets and the onus will be on her to lead the bowling attack. Skipper Salma Khatun, Khadija Tul Kubra has picked up five wickets each and they will have to be on their mark to restrict the Indian batsmen. Fahima Khatun and Jahanara Alam are the remaining bowlers in the lineup.

Predicted XI

Shamima Sultana (wk), Ayasha Rahman, Fargana Hogue, Sanjida Islam, Fahima Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Khadija Tul Kubra, Nahida Akter, Salma Khatun (capt), Nigar Sultana, Rumana Ahmed

Player to watch out for

Harmanpreet Kaur- India

Harmanpreet has been in impressive touch in the event. With 159 runs from five matches, he has been one of India’s prime batsmen. Albeit, she hasn’t blazed away and only has a strike rate of 105, the rivals can’t afford to undermine her by any stretch of the imagination. India’s fate will rest on how the skipper steps up to the plate and help the team in the batting department.

Rumana Ahmed- Bangladesh

Rumana Ahmed has arguably been Bangladesh’s strike-bowler in the championship. Apart from her wickets, she has also been frugal and has the best economy rate of 3.48 among her team’s bowlers. Moreover, the leg-break bowler picks up wickets in every 11 balls, which can work wonders for Bangladesh in the final showdown.

Head to Head

Played- 10, India- 9, Bangladesh- 1

Broadcast details– Star Sports

Match Timings: 11:30 IST, 06:00 GMT

For more cricket previews and other stories, visit Crictracker.com.

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