Women's WT20: Indian eves start as favourites against Pakistan
New Delhi: In-form Indian women will look to register their second win in as many matches when they face Pakistan in a World Twenty20 match at the Feroz Shah Kotla here today.
Unlike their male counterparts, there isn't as much history between Indian and Pakistan women and that's why it hasn't created the hype and hoopla that is associated with the men's game.
Starting from 2005, they have played only 14 limited-over matches against each other, with India prevailing on 13 occasions. Their next clash, a Group B encounter, could be the most high-stakes one yet, but the hosts will be the heavy favourites.
The last time the two teams played in India was during the ICC Women's World Cup 2013, in the seventh-place play-off game in Cuttack. Mithali Raj stole the show with a match-winning unbeaten 103, but admitted that the team had aimed to finish much higher than it did. Three years later, a lot has changed. India tasted victory in England and Australia, and a core has emerged around the veteran duo of Raj and Jhulan Goswami.
Harmanpreet Kaur has grown in stature, Smriti Mandhana has been a stunning addition to the top order, Veda Krishnamurthy has rediscovered her game, and Poonam Yadav, Anuja Patil, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Ekta Bisht have strengthened the spin department.
A team to watch out for
The blend of youth and experience has made India one of the teams to watch out for in the ongoing tournament.
The 72-run victory over Bangladesh in the opening game in Bangalore was an almost perfect show. The confidence of the top order reflected in the manner in which they fired in unison to give the bowlers a much-needed cushion.
Pakistan lost to the West Indies by four runs in their first game in Chennai, but the spinners shook up the opposition.