February 27: IND-W vs NZ-W in Junction Oval, Melbourne
Our XI: Katey Martin, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Amelia Kerr, Lea Tahuhu, Poonam Yadav
Captain: Sophie Devine
Devine has taken her terrific form from the home series against South Africa into the World cup. She has now scored 50 or more in her last 6 T20I innings, aggregating 444 runs at an average of 111. The NZ skipper has also picked up 5 wickets in her last 5 T20Is.
Vice Captain: Smriti Mandhana
Mandhana looked good in the first game during her brief stay as she smashed Ellyse Perry for a couple of boundaries in the latter's first over. But soon after, against the run of play, she fell to left arm spinner Jess Jonassen. She has a fantastic record against New Zealand though, scoring 180 runs in her last 3 T20Is against them, at a strike-rate of 146.34.
Another experienced campaigner who cannot be left out of your team. Having an average of close to 31 across 116 games is no mean feat. Bates has been in good touch as well with a 33 and 78 in the warm-up games leading up to the tournament.
Rodrigues has the ability to consolidate on good starts as well as to resurrect an innings after a poor start. She showed a calm head in the game against Australia, stringing in a 53-run partnership with Deepti Sharma and that proved to be extremely useful in the end. She scored a useful 34 against Bangladesh as well. Her career strike-rate in T20Is is 111.72.
Although slightly underrated, Sharma consistently does the job. She bowls 4 tight overs every game including overs in the Powerplay. She then comes in at No. 5 and anchors the innings or accelerates, as per the situation. Sharma has the ability to clear the ground as well. She is an extremely important member in the Indian side. Her 49* proved to be so crucial in the game against Australia.
She fills the keeper's spot in the team. Martin bats at No.5 and has a good record against India in T20I's. She averages 29 and has a strike rate of 114.85 in the 5 games that she has played against them.
Tahuhu has played 4 T20Is against India since the start of 2018 and has picked up 5 wickets at an economy of 6.21 in those matches. She has the ability to bowl tight and pick up wickets upfront making her a really valuable pick.
Points to note
- If Mandhana is still unfit, make Shefali Verma your vice captain
- At the Junction Oval in Women's T20Is since 2018, the average 1st innings score is 146
- Pacers have picked up 19 wickets at an economy of 7.28 while spinners have picked up 28 wickets at an economy of 6.91