2020 Women's T20 World Cup - India v Australia Final - Sun 8 March, 6pm AEDT

What lame headline will adorn The Daily Cricketer Times following the Women's T20 World Cup?

  • New Zealand Saved By Priest And Devine Int-Kerr-vention? You Bates Believe It

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    23

Teen Wolf

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I'm intending for this to be a preview thread, covering details regarding squad selection, fixtures and discussion spanning all the lead-up matches etc. I don't know how substantial that will equate to though, so it may also turn into the thread for the whole tournament… we'll play that ball on its merits.

The basic info

When: February 21st to March 8th

Where: All across Australia, including three of the nation's five major cities!

Who: Group A contains the cool kids like Aus, Ind, NZ, SL and Ban. Group B has all the nerds such as Eng, SAF, WI, Pak and Thailand.

What about the final: It could end up being a rather large spectacle. There will be fireworks both literally and in the form of bad pop songs performed live by Katy Perry. A record crowd for an event of its kind is being bandied about (which would mean 91k-ish). And it's on International Women's Day for god's sake, which is apparently very important even if nobody knows why.

Why are Australia the defending champions: Our Aussie girls won the horrendous-looking trophy back in 2018 for the fourth time in the tournament's history.

How to watch: Tickets start at $20 for adults and $5 for kids. All matches will be live on Fox Cricket and Kayo. Australia's games and these matches below will also be shown on Gem:
  • Feb 22, New Zealand v Sri Lanka (10pm AEDT)
  • Feb 23, England v South Africa (9.30pm AEDT)
  • Feb 27, India v New Zealand (2.30pm AEDT)
  • Feb 28, England v Pakistan (6.30pm AEDT)
  • Mar 1, England v West Indies (6.30pm AEDT)
  • Mar 3, West Indies v South Africa (6.30pm AEDT)
In the coming days I will give a brief or very brief summary of each competing team, depending on what my knowledge allows for.
 
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Teen Wolf

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Australia, to get the ball rolling, will play a T20I tri-series against India and England which will be broadcast on Channel 7(…mate?):

Sat 1 Feb v England at Manuka Oval (2.00pm)
Sun 2 Feb v India at Manuka Oval (2.00pm)
Sat 8 Feb v India at Junction Oval (12.10pm)
Sun 9 Feb v England at Junction Oval (2.10pm)
Wed 12 Feb, final at Junction Oval (2.10pm)

Our official warm-up matches follow:
Sat 15 Feb v West Indies at Allan Border Field (2pm)
Tue 18 Feb v South Africa at Karen Rolton Oval (10:30am)

And then our World Cup matches:
Fri 21 Feb v India at Sydney Showground Stadium (7pm)
Mon 24 Feb v Sri Lanka at WACA Ground (3pm)
Thu 27 Feb v Bangladesh at Manuka Oval (7pm)
Mon 2 Mar v New Zealand at Junction Oval (3pm)
Thu 5 Mar, semifinals at SCG (3pm and 7pm)
Sun 8 Mar, final at MCG (6pm)

And just on the scheduling, it really is astounding to me how CA and the ICC have such bold aspirations to fill the grand old grounds for the semi and final, yet the group stage fixturing (the only part of the tournament in which host Australia is guaranteed to feature) is oh so meek. For instance, I don't know why the opener isn't being played at Adelaide Oval, why the SL match isn't on a Sunday, why the NZ match is neither on a Sunday nor at the Gabba, and so on. Huge opportunities missed.

Regarding the squad, WNCL resumed yesterday, notably marking the return of Perry and Molineux to domestic cricket after sitting out the back-half of the Big Bash. The other nugget of news, in case you missed it, is that any chance of a national team call-up for Jess Duffin (which I believe wouldn't have been seriously considered by selectors unless Lanning or Haynes were struck down with injury) was quashed with the announcement of the impending birth of her child.

The Three Vees are also worth keeping an eye on:
  • Villani scored 99 yesterday (but again, given the all-round option she doesn't provide, it sounds like she would have to displace either the captain, vice-captain or one of the wicket-keepers to get back in the team);
  • Vlaeminck is dealing with some minor knee issues and missing this round of WNCL, but I suspect is still the favoured fourth seam option because her pace enhances the versatility of the attack;
  • Vakarewa would therefore only enter the frame if Tayla has any more setbacks, otherwise I don't expect her very good WBBL|05 to change much selection-wise for now
For anybody unfamiliar with key individuals in the team, the "C'mon Aussie C'mon" revival pretty much covers the essentials, except for one glaring and unforgivable exception: no mention of Jess Jonassen, continuing the tradition of disrespect she's attracted from former Test greats to current keyboard deplorables!

T20 being the erratic beast that it is, Australia's passmark can't be higher than making the final and playing well on the biggest of stages. Beyond that, as long as there aren't any epic selection or captaincy blunders (for which there is precedent), what will be will be. They've already redeemed their 2016 loss and dominated the Ashes abroad, while the 2021 50-over WC is the real absolute must-win on the agenda imo meaning this campaign would be a free hit if not for the unrivalled build-up around it.
 
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Richard Pryor

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Not up to date with Women's cricket. Impression I get is that Aus is the only team with professional level funding so they should dominate.
 

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Teen Wolf

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Not up to date with Women's cricket. Impression I get is that Aus is the only team with professional level funding so they should dominate.
Always comes down to money in the long run--no different with men's cricket, women's soccer or AFL for that matter. But your impression is guilty of the same mistake made by the other countries' boards. They foolishly thought keeping up with Australia was simply about funding at the very top.

Take the fourth-richest nation in NZ: their worst international players (roughly 12th to 17th on their roster) earn $44,000 per year compared to ~$80,000 for Aus women. A notable but not untenable difference. The true killer, though, is that domestic players here are on an average of $46k vs just a few grand over there. Anybody can connect the dots from that situation to a world-leading WBBL/WNCL to a highly-fancied national team.

With that said, if it was simply about the amount of money spent, there'd be no way to explain England's sub-Sri Lankan fielding in last year's Ashes series.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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Thailand. Anyone not surprised by Thailand?
It wasn't a fluke either, they did well in the series before the qualifiers. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds it difficult to associate Thailand and cricket. (Yes, I know the previous king played at university in England.)
There's a big gap between thsoe who went through that qualification process and those who didn't. I am not expecting them to push any sides; maybe Pakistan at an absolute stretch; but its always welcome to see an unexpected nation pop up in these tournaments [stern look at mens 50 over WC].
 

Caesar

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OP spent way too much time on that poll.

By rights the final should be England v Australia, with Australia heavy favourites. Given it's a knockout T20 tournament I wouldn't be surprised if one of them goes out early, but right now it's hard to imagine both of them losing to other teams.

Never say never, though.
 

big_e

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Thailand. Anyone not surprised by Thailand?
It wasn't a fluke either, they did well in the series before the qualifiers. I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds it difficult to associate Thailand and cricket. (Yes, I know the previous king played at university in England.)
There's a big gap between thsoe who went through that qualification process and those who didn't. I am not expecting them to push any sides; maybe Pakistan at an absolute stretch; but its always welcome to see an unexpected nation pop up in these tournaments [stern look at mens 50 over WC].
I think Thailand will have lots of supporters in the "male divorcee, 60+" demographic.

On a serious note, the rise of the Thais has been great to see, they deserved qualification and hopefully they can put together some good performances. Although, as has been said, the money behind women's cricket in the big three nations (yet again) is far in excess of everyone else, and results will most likely show that.
 

Teen Wolf

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Well that would be the cue to post my summary of Bangladesh and Thailand. Some might say it's unfair to lump the two teams together, and on top of that I might have what some consider to be unfair things to say about the two teams.

We all want the countries outside the main 6 to bridge the gap, but I don't think giving four World Cup spots to teams who aren't up to the top level is helping. At this stage in the development of women's cricket, I would've much preferred Sri Lanka and Pakistan having to go through qualifiers and the WC would be only 8 teams (make up the extra games through an extended knockout system).

I'm more of the belief that Thailand's inclusion isn't the result of any rise, rather they're just beneficiaries of some woeful management of the Irish women's team. Chasing Bangladesh' 5/130, the Thai team managed 7/60 in the final of last September's Qualifier. Off 20 overs. Not such an outlier either, in a tournament where 5 rpo was almost always a winning scoring rate. The positive news there is those matches were played on predictably terrible pitches in Scotland.

About a month later, though, it was shown how the much friendlier Australian wickets can’t work miracles. 8th-ranked Sri Lanka only had one-and-a-half players capable of swinging the bat in anger (compared to one, on a good day, for Bangerz) while the improved conditions just made it harder on their spinners. This means Jahanara Alam will be relied upon by Bangladesh (and the ICC, who love to make any excuse and exception to promote her) even more than usual.
 

Teen Wolf

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The next team I want to touch on is New Zealand. First things first, they actually have a favourable group draw because 1) it's guaranteed they don't have to face Australia in the semis, and 2) they are much more experienced playing over here than fellow Pool A-ers India.

The Kiwis have all sorts of selection headaches starting with Rachel Priest, whose form demands recognition but--one small problem--she can't run. Having her keep wicket mostly solves that while creating another question in what to do with out-of-sorts Katey Martin. The answer would be simple if Martin hadn't been NZ's standout performer in the 2018 series against us.

On the bowling front, they've got little chance unless quick Tahuhu, outswinger Devine, leggie Kerr and offie Kasperek are all at their best. Even so, they need to find a minimum of 4 more overs each match in the form of a third spin option (should easily be Anna Peterson) and a legit third seam option (should be much harder to settle on). There's medium-pacers, trundling in at 56 to 66 clicks per hour, lined up from Waipapakauri to Invercargill. None of them have really set the international stage on fire, so there'd be a temptation to consider Jess Kerr (older sister of Amelia) who is the leading wicket-taker in the Super Smash at an economy of 4.69. Yet to represent her country and without a White Ferns contract, to make the gamble they'd have to presume her stats aren't hugely inflated by playing in a strong team against weaker opposition.

Just as I correctly predicted about my Renegades, the absence of Satterthwaite's class and grace will be made up for the absence of her batting brainfades and captaincy calamities--I'll say it for the 538th and last time: she is the worst cricket tactician I've ever seen. National treasure Suzie Bates probably doesn't hate new coach Bob Carter and should therefore take back her mantle as the team's official leader for this campaign at least.

One last thing. In terms of the Women's T20 World Cup Final eerily mirroring the most recent WBBL final, the score is two from two. In 2016, the chasing team scored the winning runs in the last over on a play featuring a comically botched run out attempt. Then in 2018, the bat-first team was rolled for a paltry ~100 and were reined in with about 30 balls to spare. This season's Big Bash was defined by Sophie Devine doing a Ronaldo, or more broadly: the player of the tournament crumbling in the championship decider. There were obviously Sixers players involved in Australia's defeat four seasons ago, but also Scorchers members part of England's defeat in '18. Who will be the two-time Strikers losers now, and who will be the blonde star all-rounder (there's at least one in every second team, after all) bombing out at the worst time possible?
 
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Teen Wolf

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India have announced their squad of 15: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav

A team that last toured here in January 2016, winning the T20I leg 2-1. Two years later, they were bundled out of a tri-series on their own turf by the Aussie and English teams. In the 2018 WT20, they knocked off the eventual champs in a dead-ish rubber before copping a hiding from the Poms in the semi. Early last year they lost 3-0 away to New Zealand and at home to England, although both series featured a couple of nail-biters.

Amidst all that, they pulled off an almighty heist in the 2017 World Cup SF through a famous Kaur innings and an under-reported spell of excellent bowling from Shake Ya Pan Day (a sort of skinny-mirrored Irfan Pathan). They then choked away the trophy to the hosts from the 43-over mark of their run chase. There's since been some shoulder-tapping of a few veterans, so India are now gambling on less proven but more explosive youngsters like 19yo Rodrigues (scored plenty in the Kia Super League but is yet to play over here) and 16yo Verma (made 124, 46 and 0 in the Aus A v Ind A one-dayers last month... then 11, 1 and 0 in the T20s).

Of all the serious contenders, the Indians boast the least amount of players with WBBL experience (3). One of those three is Krishnamurthy, who really struggled during her time with the Canes. The other two, the skipper and vice-captain, are terrific strikers of the ball but also a bit dumb or selfish or lazy which kinda embodies India's last four near-enough-is-good-enough years. This tournament ought to be the fork in the road: they could knuckle down and take out the title, or they could continue on their current trajectory and miss out on the semis. Either result would have to force the BCCI to get real about women's cricket.
 

Teen Wolf

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South Africa released its squad the other day, featuring their 8 WBBLers as expected. An honest team that will make a mess of any Group B opponent fractionally off the boil.

The Proteas' batting consists of two ungainly sloggers (Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon), two sound technicians (the rising Laura Wolvaardt, the risen Mignon du Preez) and two great bowlers (leggie/captain Dane van Niekerk, medium-pacer Marizanne Kapp). Their second leg-spin option, Sune Luus, is about as good with the bat as our own talented tailenders Georgia Wareham or Amanda-Jade Wellington but generally gets more opportunity.

Down the other end of the line-up, shuper Shabnim Ismail is likely to be joined by slower seamers Ayabonga Khaka and Nadine de Klerk. I think that means they have to be daring with their final XI spot and give it to inexperienced Nonkululeko Mlaba (left arm orthodox) over Tumi Sekhukune and Masabata Klaas. It might actually be more of a risk not to, otherwise they needlessly leave themselves short of spinners.

Trisha Chetty hasn't played a T20I since August 2016, so I assume she's primarily in the squad as a replacement keeper in case Lee gets injured. Nondumiso Shangase is the 15th member, an allrounderish type I know very little about.

My advice for anybody in Perth working during the Monday afternoon Feb 24 Aus-SL match, if you still want to show your support for women's cricket and/or guide your daughter's etc interest in the sport: consider the RSA-Eng match the night before, I'm guaranteeing it will be an awesome contest.

Australia set to name their squad "tomorrow"... or just give it away 30 minutes ago, whatevs.
 
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Teen Wolf

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In case you missed it:


Australia will supposedly start the tri-series with their strongest line-up, though I can see Sutherland getting a crack in the last match before the final if they've already qualified by then.

New Zealand's squad for their upcoming 3-match ODI series vs South Africa:


Devine ending up with the captaincy gig in both formats "indefinitely". International debut for Jess Kerr is indeed on the cards, but note someone will have to make way for the World Cup squad--Tahuhu is presumably sitting out this one-day series to spend time with the newborn. NZ and RSA will also play a 5-match T20 series against each other before heading over here.
 

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Teen Wolf

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England's squad: Knight (c), Beaumont, Brunt, Cross, Davies, Ecclestone, Elwiss, Glenn, Jones (wk), Sciver, Shrubsole, Villiers, Wilson, Winfield, Wyatt

The old enemy could explore a lot of bowling combinations for very little gain, assuming the foundations of a fit Katherine Brunt and Sophie Ecclestone. To support the latter, the selectors seem pretty keen on 20yo leggie Sarah Glenn, who has jumped ahead of the overly-mechanical Alex Hartley and the techniqueless Kirstie Gordon in the spinner's queue.

And to round out their pace attack, I suppose they'll give Anya Shrubsole every chance to hit her straps, while playing Freya Davies sends a positive message about rewarding domestic form. But it's hard to dance around the real issue with this lot: save for retiree Sarah Taylor, their batting line-up will be unchanged from when they were embarrassed by Australia six months ago.

The Ashes humbling, sandwiched between several series of bullying lightweights, followed on from a 2018 World T20 Final where they were cannon fodder. Truth is the last time England had any credibility was before Heather Knight became a shadow of her former self. It's as if the others are waiting on the captain to wake up to wake them up. They'll need a better plan than that if her indifferent WBBL|05 carries over to this tournament.

One new plan they've already put into action is sacking the old coach Mark Robinson and replacing him with Aussie Lisa Keightley. If you were to go just by her recent record—notable for turning Perth's Scorchers into the worst Big Bash fielding team—she won't bring about much change.
 
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Teen Wolf

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West Indies, the more volatile version of India, have named their squad:


What they've got going for them is their Big 3 (Taylor, Dottin and Matthews) deliver when there's a sniff. But the batting quality drops away very sharply--essentially two-out all-out, which is how they fluctuated from narrowly beating Australia in the 2016 Final to getting smashed by them in the 2018 Semi. Sitting 7th on the 50-over ICC Women's Championship table is rather meaningless with all the games those key players have missed due to injury (and other stuff).

Also, no shortage of quality spin: Afy Fletcher was their standout when we there in September, even for the ODIs where she had a lot less help conditions-wise; and all-time T20I leading wicket-taker Anisa Mohammed, after her axing for the tour of England mid-year, played every match while the Indians visited in November.

But their pace attack, the other Big 3 (as in 3 big juicy half-volleys and/or slow wide bouncers per over), will cop an absolute pounding out here based on what I've seen. However, there might be change coming in that department through 20yo Cherry-Ann Fraser, whom I haven't seen and the Guyana Times calls a "new dawn in women's cricket"!

Speaking of Guyanese youth, I'm very hopeful Sheneta Grimmond (who was born to heave bombs over cow-corner and fall asleep half-way through her casual off-break delivery stride) is given every chance to cement herself in the team over the next few years. She should already have a stack of international experience batting no lower than 5 in T20s, like the opportunities afforded to our similarly smooth Ash Gardner.

One other thing that reads well on paper for the Windies is their draw: playing Thailand in Perth first then Pakistan in Canberra is an ideal way to ease into the tournament, they ought to be 2-0 with a bit of pressure off their shoulders when taking on England in Sydney.

And just on Pakistan, they released their squad a few days ago which I will cover in the next post once Sri Lanka announces theirs too.
 
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Teen Wolf

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Of the two teams rounding out the original octonations, Pakistan has the more even batting lineup. Bismah Maroof and Javeria Khan have been around forever and are solid, but there's also enough depth to recover from early wickets to post defendable 130 scores through the Duchess of Dualboom (Sydney Thunder's Nida Dar) and medium-pace bowling allrounder Aliya Riaz (I would've said six months ago is easily their best player, but it takes a bit more guts now she's mid-slump). The exclusion of their most experienced player Sana Mir means 16yo Syed Aroob Shah might be their third spinner, but knocking off any of Eng/WI/RSA on fast bouncy pitches is a job primarily dependent on classy outswinger Diana Baig.

There's not much meat to Sri Lanka's batting, but they are capable of reaching greater heights than Pakistan through Chamari Atapattu. Hopefully we see her fire all tournament and not just against Australia, while their less powerful hitters should enjoy getting to play at the WACA twice. The three key points I made during/after their tour here in October: 1) they can make themselves 20% better just by eradicating ridiculous running-between-the-wickets blunders; 2) they're more often a high-quality fielding team than not, but watch out for their poor days like when they dropped Alyssa Healy five times on her way to 148*; 3) Achini Kulasuriya, who can bowl at least 122km/h (not too far off the fastest women in the game), must play every match!

---

The Governor General's XI takes on India tonight at Drummoyne Oval starting 6.40pm, televised live on Fox Cricket. The GGXI will be mostly the same team as last night's CAXI (Strano 1/22 off 4, Darlington 39* off 34) that was pulverised by Australia (Lanning 93* off 66, Perry 65 off 39, Wareham 3/14 off 4). Earlier today England (Wyatt 77 off 44, Sciver 49 off 34 and 2/22 off 3, Shrubsole 3/23 off 4) beat the ACT (Koski 38 off 23, Brown 3/31 off 4) by 47 runs.

Also, confirmation the Feb 8 Tri-Series match between Australia and India has been pushed forward to a 12.10pm start to accommodate the "Bushfire Cricket Bash".
 

Teen Wolf

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New Zealand just making the one change from their current 50-over squad I think (Tahuhu predictably comes in, Bezeidenvanhouten the one to miss out). They've just lost their ODI series against South Africa 3-0, bowled out for 115 and 149 in the last two matches (batting first). Springbok spinner Sune Luus took 6/45 today.

And all I can really add to the Bangladesh and Thailand squad announcements is to say Good Luck!

---

FTA broadcast schedule for upcoming Tri-Series in Canberra and Melbourne (but check your local guides etc, of course):

Fri 31 Jan: India v England - 7mate
2.10pm AEDT, Manuka Oval

Sat 1 Feb: Australia v England - 7 Network
2pm AEDT, Manuka Oval

Sun 2 Feb: Australia v India - 7 Network
2pm AEDT, Manuka Oval

Fri 7 Feb: India v England - 7mate
2.10pm AEDT, CitiPower Centre

Sat 8 Feb: Australia v India - 7 Network
12.10pm AEDT, CitiPower Centre

Sun 9 Feb: Australia v England - 7mate
2.10pm AEDT, CitiPower Centre

Wed 12 Feb: Final - 7mate
1.40pm AEDT, CitiPower Centre

And all games broadcast on Fox Cricket too, streamable via Kayo & CA Live App, listening via ABC Grandstand.

India (Rodrigues run-a-ball 49, Pandey 1/11 off 3) were pretty dodgy in their five wicket loss to the Gov Gen's XI (McGrath 35 from 39, Vakarewa 3/21 off 4), but it was the same kind of Drummoyne pitch that has seen WBBL teams struggle on to no end in the past. Should be a much better batting deck in the nation's capital this weekend, and then the universe's sporting capital the next.
 

Leeda

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settle yourselves and you will be fine.. Catch yourselves and you will be even better..

harmony is only when like individuals are one together and when the rank outsiders don't allow you to drive a harder bargain..

Hooo got more but won't desiccate from now..
 

Teen Wolf

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Today was a fair reflection of England's recent slide. Soft dismissals from the first over. Poor in the field when it really mattered. Maybe some encouraging turning-the-corner signs with Knight's knock, though it came after she repeatedly tried to get herself out early on. And none of the Indians even had to bat particularly well in their successful chase of 148.

Sciver as the third seamer doesn't work for me anymore, she's better off concentrating solely on her batting. Winfield, who doesn't bowl, at 7 or 8 is a huge waste of a spot. Perfect time to give Davies more international exposure and they're blowing it.

India only went in with two pace bowlers today, the less experienced Vastrakar managed just one over before pulling a hamstring in the outfield. So ready or not, here comes Reddy. They now must surely bring her into the XI on Sunday--better option than playing another 16yo or spinner, I would've thought.
 

Kram

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Good job from the girl's to take it to a super over v England, looked gone there at one stage.
 

Teen Wolf

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Even when Mooney got out I was pretty sure Australia would chase this down with their batting depth on such a good pitch. Wasn't technically right but the theory was solid.

Somebody clunk the heads of Schutt, Kimmince, Brunt and Sciver together and tell them their job is to bowl yorkers, not half-track slower ball BULLshit which anybody can do!
 

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