India haven’t done badly on the tour so far. They were in serious danger of going down in the one-off Test in Bristol, but displayed immense guts and gumption to pull off a credible draw.
After disappointing in the first two ODIs, India fought back hard to win the third match and avoid a whitewash. Captain Mithali Raj led from the front with half-centuries in all three matches.
Harmanpreet Kaur will take over the reins of India Women for the T20Is. However, she has only managed a top score of 19 on the tour of England so far.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (Capt), Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana, Taniya Bhatia, Indrani Roy, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Simaran Dil Bahadur
England: Heather Knight (Captain), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Danni Wyatt
Here are three players who can be the captain or vice-captain of your Dream11 team for the first T20I between India Women and England Women.
#3 Shafali Verma (India)
Just 17, Shafali Verma is already the No. 1 batter in the ICC Women’s T20I rankings. In 22 T20 games for India, she has 617 runs to her name at a strike rate of 148.31.
Verma has had an impressive run on the England tour so far. She was the player of the match on her Test debut in Bristol, scoring a brilliant 96 in the first innings and then following it up with a defiant 63 in the second. Verma showed amazing resolve, defying her age.
In the ODIs, Verma contributed 15, 44 and 19. Although she would have liked to have done better, the youngster will be confident of raising her game in the T20Is, a format in which she is the most dangerous.
If she gets going at the top of the order, Verma can definitely put India in a position to clinch the three-match T20I series.
#2 Heather Knight (England)
England captain Heather Knight will be one of the keys to the team’s fortunes in the T20Is as well. Knight has an impressive record in the T20 format, having scored 1295 runs from 81 games at a strike rate of 119.02. She has also hammered a century in the format, apart from four fifties.
Knight has had a good run against India in the series so far. She made a brilliant 95 in the one-off Test in Bristol and even claimed three wickets in the drawn Test. Knight would have been disappointed not to have won the Test after having India under the pump.
In the ODIs, the England skipper managed only 18 and 10 in the first two games before scoring 46 in the final match. With England having captured the three-match series 2-1, Knight will be looking forward to more striking performances in the T20Is against India.
#1 Sophie Ecclestone (England)
Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has had a sensational series so far. She began by claiming eight wickets in the one-off Test in Bristol - 4 for 88 and 4 for 118 - as India batters found her guile and accuracy difficult to handle.
Ecclestone was also instrumental in England’s 2-1 ODI series win over India, claiming a total of eight wickets to be named player of the series. She dismissed India captain and vice-captain Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur in the first ODI in Bristol.
Even as Kate Cross claimed a five-for in the second ODI in Taunton, Ecclestone was impressive again, picking up 3 for 33 in her 10 overs. She had the dangerous Shafali Verma stumped and returned to clean up the tail.
India did manage to register a hard-fought triumph in the final ODI in Worcester but Ecclestone again stood out with figures of 2 for 36. The visitors will have to be more competent in dealing with the left-arm spinner in the T20Is if they want to impress in the format.