India will start as strong contenders to win their seventh Asia Cup title when they take on a confident Sri Lanka in the final of the Women’s Asia Cup at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. With the Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in South Africa next year, India is looking to experiment in the Asia Cup.
After winning their first match by chance against Sri Lanka, India have experimented in their later matches, although it did not work against Pakistan.
On giving playing time to the middle-order, Harmanpreet said that one aspect that helped them win big knockout matches under pressure conditions has been India’s focus in the ongoing Asia Cup.
With Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana scoring runs, Jemima Rodrigues has consistently done well for India. He currently tops the run-scorers list with 215 runs from seven matches at an average of 71.66 and a strike-rate of 137.82. Jemima has been doing well since her return to the T20 team.
Sabbhineni Meghana has also done well when given the opportunity but India will be very happy that opener Shafali Verma has also managed to score some runs after poor performances during the Commonwealth Games 2022 and the tour of England. Due to his runs, India has more confidence in their batting before the title match.
With the ball, Deepti Sharma has claimed 13 wickets with bat and ball, especially with her superb spell of 3/7 in the semi-final against Thailand. Apart from them, Rajeshwari Gaikwad (seven wickets) and Sneh Rana (five wickets) have been doing well in tournaments where spinners have dominated the front due to the slow nature of the pitches.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are in the final of the Women’s Asia Cup after 14 years thanks to a thrilling one-run win over Pakistan in the second semi-final.
The Chamari Athapaththu-led side successfully defended 12 runs in the last two overs to enter the Asia Cup final.
However, Chamari has been unable to play big innings. Harshitha Madavi and Nilakshi de Silva have done a great job with cameos of other players like Oshadi Ranasinghe. Left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera (12 wickets) with the ball has been a key player for Sri Lanka.
The men’s team surprised everyone by winning the Asia Cup trophy in the United Arab Emirates in September. Sri Lanka should be very motivated to join their counterparts to be the champions of the multi-nation competition. But apart from winning another Asia Cup title, the challenge for the big-picture Indian team will be huge.
Both the Teams Are As Follows-
India Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemima Rodrigues, Sabbhineni Meghana, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalatha, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gaikwad , Radha Yadav and K.P. Navgir.
Sri Lanka squad: Chamari Athapaththu (captain), Hasini Perera, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Anushka Sanjeewani (wicket-keeper), Kaushani Nuthyangana, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Malsha Shehani, Madushika Methtananda, Inoka Ranaweera, Rashmi Silva, Sugandika Kumari , Achini Kulasuriya and Tharika Sewwandi.
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