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Tri series: Harmanpreet Kaur or Heather Knight - who will have the last laugh?

Tri series: Harmanpreet Kaur or Heather Knight - who will have the last laugh?
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By

Shruti Banerjee

Published: 6 Feb 2020 6:04 PM GMT

After having played three games so far, Australia, England and India have won one game each in Canberra. While Harmanpreet Kaur led India have won against Heather Knight led England but lost to Australia, England won their last game against Australia convincingly. Currently, the series has moved to Melbourne where three more games will take place. While India will try to bounce back in the series, England will try to keep their winning momentum on.

India are pretty much dependent on their top-order where only Smriti Mandhana and captain Harmanpreet Kaur did well so far. Youngsters Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues failed to impress much with the bat. However, these top-four have scored almost 74% of the team‘s total in the last two games.

But their main problem remains intact - the middle-order woes. None of the batters stood up in the last two games. Experienced Veda Krishnamurthy who came in the series with a bag full of runs from India A team's Australia tour and T20 Challenger Trophy, failed to reach the double-digit yet.

Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur (Image: ICC)

Another player Deepti Sharma who proved effective with the ball failed to score with the bat. Even Taniya Bhatia and bowling all-rounder Arundhati Reddy couldn't contribute in the last game against Australia as India reduced to 78 for 4 to 82 for 8. They eventually ended up on 103 as Ellyse Perry registered her second-best bowling figure in T20s - 4-0-13-4.

While their middle-order woes remain the same, bowlers did a great job, especially Rajeshwari Gayakwad. Her purple patch continues since the beginning of the year. She along with Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav took the game to the penultimate over but failed to restrict as they didn't have enough runs.

On the other hand, Heather Knight led England failed to win the first game but won against Australia. But their openers failed to get going in both the games. It was the captain, Heather Knight whose 44-ball 67 against India and 45-ball 78 were the highlights of the games.

Along with her, Tammy Beaumont (37 off 27 against India) and Fran Wilson (39* off 28 against Australia) supported Knight well in the middle-order. However, they need to sort their batting order in order to get a better result where Tammy Beaumont can come at crucial number 3 position.

Heather Knight
Heather Knight scores a fifty. Image: Twitter

Among bowlers, Katherine Brunt did well against India but failed to do so against Australia. On the other hand, Sophie Ecclestone has proved her worth so far alongside Sarah Glenn and Natalie Sciver as they both bagged 3 wickets each against the mighty Aussies.

While India need to sort their middle-order issue, England need to work on their opening slot and batting order. England are at the bottom of the points table and India are in the second as they have won the equal number of match. Since the net run rate has separated the three teams, the winner of the game could reach the final.

It will be interesting to see whether Harmanpreet Kaur led India will have the last laugh or Heather Knight becomes the saviour of her side.

Squads

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodriguez, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia (WK), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Nuzhat Parween.

England: Heather Knight (C), Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones (WK), Danielle Wyatt, Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Davies, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Glenn, Kate Cross, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson.

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