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WWC 2017: IND v ENG, Final Preview: The holistic destination all set to host the ultimate showdown

While the Indian team has the momentum on their side it will not be easy for them to bypass the English challenge in the summit clash.

India
Team India. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The ultimate showdown is hours away from commencement and for one final time in England, the fierce ladies will lock horns for the greatest glory. English eves have been waiting to kiss the trophy for the first time since 2009 whilst their opponents India are looking to break all the shackles and clinch the trophy for the very first time.

Harmanpreet Kaur battered the Aussies with her batting master class and England won a cliffhanger against South Africa in their respective semi-finals. Both the teams have strong middle order batters but it’ll be interesting to see who holds their nerve come the big day.

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Two best sides have entered the finals but England will be a bit more comfortable considering the number of occasions they’ve been there at this level. The odds nevertheless, can be subdued and the history need not have the final say. The best rendition of perseverance and courage is what will win you a final and it’s needless to say that it’s going to be a tantalising encounter for the crowd.

 

Toss: England Women won the toss and opted to bat

Captains speak:

Heather Knight: We are going to have a bat. Runs on the board. It is lovely, it is sold out today. Hopefully we can finish off well today. Looks like there will be a bit of rain, but hopefully that will clear out. No changes today

Mithali Raj: We would have batted but seamers are back in form so I am sure they will use these conditions. These girls are fearless, they are very confident and ready to step up for the big challenge. We are going with the same team (that played the semifinals)

Playing XI:

England Women: Lauren Winfield, Tammy Beaumont, Sarah Taylor(w), Heather Knight(c), Natalie Sciver, Fran Wilson, Katherine Brunt, Jenny Gunn, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole, Alex Hartley

India Women: Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj(c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Sushma Verma(w), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav

Focus will be on

Harmanpreet Kaur (India)

After such a breathtaking performance, the spotlight will definitely be on Harmanpreet. Her innings of 171 is being touted as one of the greatest innings in knockouts history of both men’s and women’s cricket and now she faces an uphill task of living up to the expectation. If she can do anything half as good as what she did the other day, India will be on course for their maiden title

Sarah Taylor (England)

The experienced batter Sarah Taylor has made a remarkable comeback to the helm of things in English cricket. After a normal start to the campaign, she raised the bars with a gigantic ton against South Africa. She is in great nick right now and when players of such calibre and experience are in full flow, the bowlers are bound to stay terrorised.

Playing Combinations

India

Smriti Mandhana has lost her touch completely but her aggressive approach, if it clicks, can win you a game inside the powerplay. So she will be opening the batting with Punam Raut surprising absolutely no one. Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma and Veda Krishnamurthy will be comprising the middle order. This backbone of the batting definitely packs a punch and the English bowlers will have a tough time dealing with them.

Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey will be sharing the new ball, with Deepti Sharma being the spinning option in the first ten. Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad will be very crucial as they will bowl a lot of overs in the middle part of the inning.

Harmanpreet hurt herself during the nets and though she promoted that all was fine, she didn’t look really comfortable and in case she misses out it will be a huge blow to the Indians.

England

Lauren Winfield and the tournament’s third highest run scorer Tammy Beaumont will be opening the batting with Sarah Taylor coming in at number 3. Skipper Heather Knight, Natalie Sciver and Fran Wilson have a difficult job cut out to face the Indian spinners who are currently having a great time.

The hosts will be heavily reliant on their experienced campaigner Katherina Brunt to provide early breakthroughs and Anny Shrubsole’s good form is always an advantage. Jenny Gunn also has been around for a long time and she will have to pull her A game on Sunday to ensure the hosts don’t disappoint the home fans. Laura Marsh and Alex Hartley have been exceptional as well this tournament and will be adding great variety to this strong bowling attack.

StatAttack

7 – This is the 7th time England have entered the final of Women’s World Cup.

2 – Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are the only two players who will be representing India in a Women’s World Cup final twice.

4 – Four out of the top five run scorers will be featuring in the final on Sunday, three of them are from England.

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