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The Women's World Cup final

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Mithali_Raj_Heather_Knight_India_England_Women's_CricketIt was 24th of June when the 11th edition of ICC Women’s World Cup started. 8 teams came in the battlefield to become the ultimate winner but only two teams still have the chance to lift the prestigious trophy. India and England will lock horns for one final time in this tournament on Sunday. 

As it was earlier expected that this year’s world cup would be bigger and better and to stand by this statement we have India (who have only lost 2 matches so far) taking on the mighty hosts- England (who have only lost to India in the opening game of the tournament) in the grand final of the Women’s World Cup at grand stage- Lord’s, the Home of Cricket. 

India is playing in the World Cup final for the second time, while England is playing their seventh final. It is difficult to pick a winner in this match. England registered a nervous win over South Africa in the 1st semi final but have the confidence of 3 triumphant World Cup titles under their belt. On the other hand, India thrashed the defending champions Australia in their semi final and beat England in the league stage. India are also overflowing with confidence and have the belief that they can create history by upsetting the hosts.   

As it is with most finals, the team that holds its nerve will prevail. In the World Cup so far, the most important aspect has been the rate of scoring. Whenever a team have taken the charge and scored freely, the opposition has been under immense pressure. For example, in the semi-final between India and Australia, the way Harmanpreet Kaur and the other Indian batters took charge lifted the pressure from them which later resulted in the downfall of the defending champs.  

 

The same scenario will come into play on Sunday at Lord’s. Whichever team takes up the charge first will not only get an edge over the match but may actually run the whole match on their terms. As we know, the toss plays a crucial part in a match as well. It could decide which way the title tilts as history of the big cricket matches suggests. The key here is to build pressure and then choke the opposition with runs on the board. Whoever bats first will win.

 

This is India's second final in 12 years – Raj played in 2005 when Australia proved far too strong in the decider in South Africa, but the game barely raised an eyebrow in her home country. However, things have changed in the intervening years as women's cricket has hurtled towards professionalism.

 

In 2005 hardly anybody knew that India have qualified for the final because they were all too involved with men's cricket, nobody really paid attention to the Indian women's team,

 

 

Raj said.

After winning the contest against Australia, Indian captain, Mithali Raj warned the England side, saying, “We knew that this tournament wasn’t going to be easy but the way the girls have turned up at every situation when the team needed, whether it was the batters or bowlers, this win has definitely changed the scenario in terms of how the girls will look up to the final.

“It definitely isn’t going to be easy for England. But it will come down to how we perform on that day. We really have to work on our planning and strategy because England has also peaked after being defeated by us in the first game. 

“They have performed well in the run up to the final, so playing a host in their own country is going to be a challenge.”  

 

It will be really interesting to see how women in blue absorbs the pressure of the final as it will be the first for most of the Indian team. We have seen many heavyweights going down like cards when it comes to the final. A recent example would be Pakistan’s crushing victory over India in the final of the men’s cricket Champions Trophy

 

Either way, one thing is for sure: since the World Cup comes once in four years, this game could possibly be the only chance for several players to have a final shot at being World Cup winners, especially for the veterans of Team India. 

 

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Yatin Singh is a graduate of Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, studied B.A (H) Journalism. Yatin,...

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