Who will emerge on top amongst these 5 key players in the final? © Getty Images
Who will emerge on top amongst these 5 key players in the final? © Getty Images

With upsets, heroic performances with both bat and ball, the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 has turned out to be one of the most fascinating cricketing events of the year. While favourites England, after a shocking defeat to India in their first match, have reached the final, India have had a fairy-tale journey which they would like to end on a positive note on Sunday by winning their first title at the prestigious Lord’s Cricket Ground. As the two powerhouses collide once again, here are performers who can turn the heat on in the packed stadium at Lord’s.

Mithali Raj: Every time Mithali Raj comes out to bat, you know records are going to be broken. You know that there will be display of sheer class. One of the greatest batters of the modern era, Mithali is just 12 runs short of becoming the highest run-getter in the tournament. She has already hit three half-centuries and a century in the tournament so far and has scored 392 runs in 8 matches. It was her 109 that took India to victory against a strong New Zealand in what was a virtual quarter-final, and her 71 against England that paved India’s way to victory in their first match. The leader, hence, will sure be under limelight.

Tammy Beaumont: If any batter in the tournament is close to the consistency of Mithali Raj, then that is Tammy Beaumont. Only 5 runs shy from the Indian captain in the list of highest run-getters, Tammy has hit one century and one half-century already. Her numbers in the previous five innings – 15, 42, 93, 49 and 149 – are enough to prove that she has hit the purple patch of her career. England will want her to fire in the showdown.

Deepti Sharma: You send her up the order, she contributes the most in the line-up with a 78. You hand the ball over to her; she picks up 3 wickets against the hosts England. Deepti Sharma has responded positively to all the experiments that her skipper Mithali has done with her potential, proving to be an element that the team cannot miss in the final match. Her best figures of 3 for 47 in the tournament came against England and a similar performance can take the England batting down yet again. With 12 wickets from 8 matches, Deepti sits fourth in the list of highest wicket-takers in the tournament.

Heather Knight: A captain who leads from the front, Heather Knight has been the perfect successor to Charlotte Edwards and her all-round contribution to every match shows why. Fourth in the list of highest run-getters in the tournament with 363 runs to her name, Heather has scored a century and a couple of half-centuries so far. She is certainly one of the pillars of England’s heavy batting lineup. On the other hand, she has been the most successful bowler for England in this edition of the tournament with 8 wickets from 6 matches that she has bowled in. The team will look up to their captain and want her to put in 100 per cent into the crucial Sunday fixture.

Harmanpreet Kaur: England has majorly depended upon their batting in this tournament. With the likes of Beaumont, Heather, Natalie Sciver and Sarah Taylor in splendid form, they form a nucleus of batting that is capable of posting a humongous total against India. The visitors will need someone of their stature if they have to chase down a big target, and in Harmanpreet Kaur they have got the perfect ally to do so. Memories of her record-breaking 171* against Australia in the semi-final are still fresh in everyone’s mind. She has etched history on the big platform, and has not shown even a bit of nervousness or fear while playing that sensational innings. All eyes will be on this girl on the big day.