Smriti Mandhana recommended for the Arjuna Award by the BCCI. ©Getty Images

As the ICC World Championship (2017-20) is going on, now it’s time for India to face Sri Lanka on Sri Lanka’s home soil. The series will begin from September 11. This series is equally important for both the teams. India is currently at the 6th position in the points table. They won their first series against South Africa by 2-1 but lost to Australia by 3-0.

Prior to the series against Sri Lanka, here are the 5 players you should watch:

 

Smriti Mandhana

Probably the most important player in the India team right now is Smriti Mandhana. This year is only getting better for her. From becoming the ‘Player of the Series’ in the ODI series against South Africa to became the ‘Player of the Series’ in the home series against England after scoring 181 runs in 3 matches, she is improving day by day. Her maiden Super League went wonderfully well with the score of 421 in 9 innings with the strike rate of 174.69. Her strike-rate of 174.69 is better than anyone else’s by far in the KIA Super League and Women’s Big Bash League.

She now holds the record of scoring the joint-fastest fifty in T20 to her name. She slammed a 61-ball 102 in the recently concluded Super League and became the second India player to score a century in T20 after Mithali Raj. She has the ability to hit the ball hard. Her devastating form will surely help India to score big in the tournament.

 

Harmanpreet Kaur

The captain of India team in T20 format is undoubtedly one of the most important players in the squad. Her stormy innings at Derby during the semi-final of World Cup last year was one of the memorable innings in Women’s Cricket by far. She single-handedly helped India to reach the final of ICC Women’s World Cup.

She was not in a good form in the home series against Australia and England but bounced back in the Asia Cup in June. Though India lost the final of Asia Cup, she was awarded the ‘Player of the Tournament’ for her wonderful all-round performances. She scored 215 runs in 6 matches and took 5 wickets. Her formidable form in her maiden Super League stint helped Lancashire Thunder to win matches.

Her 34* off 21 with 3 fours and a six in the debut match of Super League and 74 off 44 with 4 fours and 6 sixes in the last match against Yorkshire Diamonds were equally praiseworthy. She is known for big hitting and is certainly a big match player who can turn the game alone by her destructive batting.

 

Mithali Raj

Another important player is none other than Mithali Raj, the captain of India team in ODI format and the highest run-getter of women’s cricket. She has been in a stupendous form for years. She was in a good form during the South Africa series and became the first-ever woman to score 50th 50 in ODIs against England earlier this year.

She was the second highest run scorer in the Asia Cup after Harmanpreet Kaur. She scored 146 runs in 5 innings with a strike rate of 105.80. She has an average of over 50 in ODIs and plays the role of an anchor in almost every game with perfection; she is definitely one of the biggest hurdles for Sri Lanka to win.

 

Jemimah Rodrigues

Another player who can play an important role for India is Jemimah Rodrigues. She came into limelight when she slammed a double century (202 off 163 balls) in the U19 match against Saurashtra. She made her debut during the South Africa series in T20 and played her first ODI match against Australia earlier this year. Although she has played only 3 ODIs and 9 T20Is, she played a pivotal role, scoring a 41-ball 42 in the 3rd ODI against Australia. She has the ability to become one of the key batters for India and she can be a great threat to the opponents too.

 

Poonam Yadav

One of the most dependable bowlers of India at present is undoubtedly Poonam Yadav. The only leg break bowler in the squad has been in a great form throughout the year. She was the highest wicket-taker in the South Africa series, bagged 12 wickets in 8 matches with a 4-for. She took 6 wickets in 3 matches against England including a 4-for earlier this year.

She scalped 10 wickets in 6 matches again including a 4-for in the Asia Cup and took 6 wickets in 5 matches in the recently concluded BCCI Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy. She is currently in her career-best ICC ranking of no. 2 in the T20 format. She has the ability to take wickets at the key moment. Her googly can trouble any batter in the world. She has her best bowling figure in ODI against Sri Lanka (4/13) and in T20I against Bangladesh (4/9).

Leave a Reply