In pursuit of their first title in the format, India will battle England, the inaugural tournament winners, for a spot in the finals of the Women’s World T20 today at 8 pm in Antigua.
The Indian captain, Harmanpreet Kaur said “We’re taking another game like we played in the league games. I think the team is well prepared. Everyone is looking quite confident now and it’s just a matter of one more game now. I think we all are looking confident. I think we just need to focus [on] what we have done well in the last league games and those things we need to just continue now.”
Coming from Guyana, Antigua is expected to favour the spinners and Kaur has stated that they are prepared for it. When asked about the England spinners, the Indian captain said, “Every team is depending on the spin attacking, I think. It just depends how you prepare and how you’re approaching towards the wicket. I think the short form of game. You don’t need to think about, like, certain things. You just need to go and play your natural game, other than just thinking about how the wicket is behaving, how like the things are going. I think [you] just need to think freely and just execute yourself.”
On the other hand, England’s captain, Heather Knight, has noted that her side has not yet seen the pitch apart from the warm up match against India but said her side’s XI isn’t finalised but will do so depending on if the conditions favour swing bowling. Looking at the past matches, this is India’s first under lights to which Kaur stated “Here we got three practice sessions and we played one practice game and I think it’s just a matter of how early you can settle for the conditions and think of what we did in the practice session and the girls are looking quite confident now and hopefully another day, like, we just stick to what we are doing in the past and just give our best on this team.”
Meanwhile the English skipper said her side has had a look at their opponents and are working out their game.
“We obviously looked at the team we are going to face, we played them in the warm up game and we’ve seen what has been very effective, like taking pace off the ball and we have obviously looked to how we are going to play it, our methods of scoring runs and also how we bowl and the little things like that.” Knight said
She added that her side will “take confidence from winning in the 50-Over finals but I don’t think you can throw that in, it’s a different format, different captain for them and players so it’s all about tomorrow, T20 is who turns up on the day, anyone put[ting] in a strong performance can win it.”
Contrastingly, Kaur noted that particular game where they made a lot of mistakes. “I think we just need to keep those things in the mind and learn from them. I think as a team I think we need to live in the present. At present we’re doing really well, I think, other than thinking about the past we just need to think what we need to do in the next game as a team.”
History favours England, who have defeated India 10 times in their 13 outings in the format but India are strong with their top four batters taking centre stage with Kaur leading the scoring with 167 runs followed by her vice-captain Smriti Mandhana with 144 runs while Poonam Yadav has led the bowling with eight wickets.
Mithali Raj has made two half centuries in the tournament so far but missed the last match. Kaur said “She’s better now. She came yesterday for training also, but [will] rest up tonight.”