The T20I tri-series involving Australia, England and India has moved to Melbourne from Canberra. All three teams have won a game each and are in the hunt for the next set of matches. India are coming from a loss to Australia on Sunday (February 2) and will look to go better against England, who are coming from a Super Over victory against Australia.
Although India began the series with a confidence-boosting win over England in the series opener, they fell short against Australia. The pace and bounce that the hosts' bowlers generated at the Manuka Oval found India's batters out. Only Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur could provide some resistance.
Yet, both the matches so far have gone on to show that bowling is the Asian side's stronger suit and the batting needs some work before it can inspire confidence. It was Ellyse Perry, who proved to be the difference between the two sides and as a result, the women in blue would, perhaps, believe that they haven't done much wrong.
While the pitch at the Junction Oval in Melbourne will have the batters curious, players like Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Veda Krishnamurthy will be well aware about how much they have to take the onus on themselves.
On the other hand, Heather Knight has led England from the front so far. In both their games, she has been the one to rescue the side with the bat and it is high time that the other batters, especially the top order, stand up to be counted. Amy Jones' stay in the middle of Australian shores so far has been a struggle.
England could also take solace from their spinners' display, as with Fran Wilson's contribution in their match against Australia. But in what could possibly be at the most three games before heading into the T20 World Cup, England would want to get their batting - players' form as well as the order - sorted.
England is at the bottom with India in the second spot on the points table, with just the net run rate separating the three teams. The winner of this contest on Friday (February 7) could perhaps breathe a tad easier and hope to play the final. This scenario also means that teams will be a touch hesitant to experiment with their combinations. Will they be bold enough?
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodriguez, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Nuzhat Parween.
England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones, Danielle Wyatt, Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Davies, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Glenn, Kate Cross, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson.