Katherine Brunt (left) and Charlotte Edwards could hold the key to defeating India © Getty Images
India Women scripted history when they played a Test match after eight years and won convincingly against England Women at Wormsley. However, Sudatta Mukherjee feels the one-dayers will be much tougher than the one-off Test.
India Women registered an emphatic victory against England Women at Wormsley in the only Test after a hiatus of eight years from the longest format of the game. The victory came as an encouragement and hope of more Test matches ahead. Riding on the heroics of Mithali Raj, Nagarajan Niranjana and Smriti Mandhana, India won the match by six wickets.
However, despite having played limited-over matches more, India Women are likely to face more pressure and tougher situation in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
Here are the five reasons why India Women need to worry:
1. The bowling show of Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn — Katherine Brunt, who features on the list of most wickets taken in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for England Women at No 5, could not be part of the England Test squad due to injury. However, she will be back for the limited-overs and when she teams up with Jenny Gunn — England Women’s leading wicket-taker — Indians will have a lot to worry about.
2. England Women have played more ODIs than India in the last two years — As it goes, India Women have played 10 ODIs in the last two years, compared to England Women’s 18. Even though the win/loss ratio favours India Women, England Women have played more matches against a higher number of teams compared to India Women. England Women have played seven ODIs against Australia Women, four matches against West Indies Women, two each against Pakistan Women and New Zealand Women and one each against India, Sri Lanka and South Africa. On the other hand, India Women have played four matches against Sri Lanka Women, three against Bangladesh and one each against West Indies, England, and Pakistan.
3. Average experience of England Women more than India — The India Women players have lesser experience at international cricket than England Women. The India Women’s team to England is full of youngsters. Apart from Mithali, Jhulan Goswami and Karuna Jain, most of the squad have played fewer international matches than most of the players in the England squad.
4. England Women will aim to avenge Test loss — It is a known fact that a defeated person is dangerous; so is a defeated team. Last time India Women toured England, they lost the ODI series 3-2. It was a close series and India Women had won the one-off Test. India Women have won seven of their last 10 ODIs, along with their recent Test triumph. However, England Women lost the Women’s World Twenty20 (T20) final earlier this year to Australia and then also lost two of the three Women’s Ashes ODIs to Australia. England Women would surely likely to stay upbeat, moving ahead with the ICC Women’s Championship starting just after the ODI series.
5. The pressure of central contracts – England Women received central contracts. Charlotte Edwards and the 17 other cricketers who received the contract were virtually given a new life as professional players. England Women are the only team right now to receive a central contract from the cricket board. However, if they go on to lose the ODI series, following the Test defeat, it will be a sad sight. Even skipper Charlotte knows the importance of the contract, and also the fact that only a few days are left for the start ICC Women’s Championship. “It makes every one-day series that we play between now and till 2017 significant. Whenever I step out to play for England I want to win, but now more than ever before, every result really does matter,” Charlotte was quoted as saying by BBC.
(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)