After a 66-run win in the series opener , a buoyant Indian side will hope to take an unassailable 2-0 lead when it takes on England in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.
The victory on Friday, scripted by its bowlers, handed India two crucial points in the ICC Women’s Championship. Two more points would help the host immensely in staying ahead in the race for direct qualification spots for the 2021 World Cup.
Much will be expected from its left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht, whose four-wicket haul helped turn the contest decisively in India’s favour in the first ODI. She has allies in leg-spinner Poonam Yadav and off-spinner Deepti Yadav. India also has an effective seam attack for the conditions, in Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey, both of whom were quite a handful for the English top order on Friday.
Areas to improve upon
The victory, however, may have camouflaged a lacklustre batting outing by the home team — a middle-order collapse crippled the side despite the solid opening partnership. Without Harmanpreet Kaur in the team — she is ruled out due to injury — the top-order has more responsibility to step up. “The players also know the importance of stepping up to the occasion and perform. Yes, we won the last game but we cannot overlook the things that we need to give a thought [to],” Mithali Raj, the India captain, said ahead of the second ODI.
For England, the challenge will be to crack India’s spin code. On Sunday, the batters sweated it out at the nets, trying to get used to the spin.
Skipper Heather Knight had a good run in the first game, but she needs support from the likes of Danni Wyatt, Sarah Taylor and Tammy Beaumont in the top order. The bowling looks in good hands — it was a tight, combined effort from the unit on Friday, and the side would hope for an encore.
- India Women: Mithali Raj (c), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), R Kalpana (wk), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Punam Raut, Harleen Deol.
- England Women: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Alex Hartley, Amy Jones, Laura Marsh, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Sarah Taylor (wk), Lauren Winfield and Danni Wyatt.
- Match starts at 9am.
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