Truth be told, despite being in the top four with only eight matches to go in the league phase of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, India have not played consistent cricket yet. Every team, perhaps with the exception of Australia, will have started the tournament with the aim of first finishing in the top four and that is fair.
India, however, have managed to remain there on the basis of two big wins while their other three performances left a lot to be desired. That holds true, despite taking the red-hot Australia to the final over.
Now, having been handed a lifeline by Pakistan’s win over West Indies, where any team that manages to reach eight points should go through to the semifinal without any other consideration, India cannot afford anymore slip-ups. But Bangladesh, as we have seen right through this tournament, won’t make things easy.
Match 22 of this year’s rollercoaster event will be the first-ever ICC Women’s World Cup match between India and Bangladesh. These two nations have played four ODI matches against each other, and India are unbeaten so far, winning on all four occasions. They last met at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Colombo and India won by nine wickets.
India are currently at the fourth position in this tournament, with two wins and three losses. If they are to advance to the semi-final stage of this competition, they cannot afford to lose this encounter. Meanwhile, Bangladesh will be aiming for their first win against India in this format. .
- Harmanpreet Kaur has found form at a big event, scoring three fifty-plus knocks in the last four innings. Her form in the middle order has been one of India’s biggest positives from a batting point of view. Against a spin-heavy Bangladesh attack on a turning Hamilton pitch, she will play a key role.
- Pooja Vastrakar has been India’s best allrounder in the tournament so far. Batting at eight, she has scored a total of 123 runs, including a half-century. She has also taken eight wickets in her four bowling innings, including career-best figures of 4/34 against New Zealand.
- Bangladesh will be hoping that their experienced player, Rumana Ahmed bounces back to form. In her six innings prior to this tournament, Ahmed was averaging 58.25 with the bat (Runs - 233; four 30+ scores).
- Pakistan’s win against the West Indies at this venue a day before the India-Bangladesh battle showed the importance of spin... India’s strength, Bangladesh’s too. Will India be tempted to bring Deepti Sharma back instead of a pacer?
India vs Bangladesh in ODIs
|India won||5 wickets||Bangladesh||2nd||Ahmedabad||8 Apr 2013|
|India won||46 runs||India||1st||Ahmedabad||10 Apr 2013|
|India won||58 runs||India||1st||Ahmedabad||12 Apr 2013|
|India won||9 wickets||India||2nd||Colombo (NCC)||17 Feb 2017|
Points after WI vs PAK
Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana said: “I think right now we’re thinking about the next match. It was quite disappointing [defeat against WI] but there is still three more games left. We just want to focus on that and I think girls are trying to get themselves focussed on not giving up anymore, they are thinking like that. We want to come back in the next match and obviously I think whatever we did in the last match, we don’t want to do that do it again.”
Bangladesh are playing in their first ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and will face England and Australia for the first time in ODIs, a challenge Nigar is looking forward to.
Looking a bit further beyond the World Cup, Bangladesh will join the ICC Women’s Championship and Nigar is looking forward to putting her new knowledge to good use.
She added: “Obviously, we have not played a lot of international matches from 2018 to 2020, we just played T20 matches We never get the opportunity to play a lot of international matches like ODIs, but now we are getting to the play the IWC. We’ll get more international matches and we’re going to get to play against the top teams, so we’ll get a lot of experience over there and we want to show the other teams that we are competitive and we are capable. It is going to be a big challenge and a big opportunity for all of us.”
On morale: The mood in our team camp is positive. When you lose a match it tends to lower your confidence. However, as a team unit, we have sought positives out of that.
On her personal performances: See, when you perform well on such a huge platform, obviously you feel good. When I performed in the first match of my first World Cup, I was pretty happy at that time. However, on such a huge platform you can’t be happy with just one performance. You need to do more and perform well in most of the games. I want to perform whenever my team needs me to perform.
On the batting performances: Ups and downs are part of the game in either department. While moving on to the next game, we always take positives from the previous games. Our batting unit is doing well now and hope will do well in upcoming matches as well. We always have healthy discussions. We can’t change the past but we can perform well in upcoming matches as a unit.
On weather and NRR: Weather is a natural thing. We can’t control it. Our first priority is to win the game then comes the NRR depending upon the situation.
All eyes will also be on the weather in Hamilton, with the match happening on Monday despite a deluge early on making it near impossible. A shortened match could play into Bangladesh’s hands too, adding another layer of intrigue to proceedings.
With inputs from ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020, Sportradar and ESPNCricinfo Statsguru. All statistics mentioned for women’s One Day Internationals unless otherwise stated.