India- The strongest contender for ICC Women's World Cup
The 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup is set to begin from 24 June in England. Led by Mithali Raj, the Indian women's team will start their campaign against England in the opening match of the tournament. Let us have a look at why the current Indian women's team is the best team India have ever put up in the ICC tournament.
Who is in the Indian women's cricket team?
Mithali Raj (captain), Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Punam Raut, Deepti Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Ekta Bisht, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Mansi Joshi, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parveen and Smriti Mandhana.
A full packed top and middle order
Indian women's cricket team has one of the best batting line-ups in the world. With youngster Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut and Mona Meshram in the team, it will be a tough choice for the skipper to select the opening pair. Mitali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur make a strong middle order, along with all-rounder Shikha Pandey.
Record partnership of Sharma and Raut
Deepti Sharma (188) and Punam Raut (109) put on a 320-run partnership against Ireland in May 2017 to become the first pair to achieve this feat. Deepti's 188 is the second-highest score by a woman cricketer in ODIs.
The vast experience of Raj and Goswami
Indian women's team skipper Mithali Raj and the world's leading women wicket-taker in the ODIs, Jhulan Goswami, have together played 332 ODI matches. This is almost half the total matches player by the other 13 players in the team. Jhulan and Mithali's vast experience will be an important for the not so experienced youngsters of the women's cricket team.
A fierce bowling attack in English conditions
Jhulan Goswami will lead India's pace attack, and could be a big threat with the new ball given her success in the English conditions. She will be joined by Shikha Pandey, who had successfully led the attack in the absence of Goswami earlier this year. Mansi Joshi could play a vital role with her pace, swing and tall frame.
The spin department
Indian team has traditionally been dependent on spinners rather than the pace bowling. With Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma in the team, India are well stacked with the spinners as well.
A settled team, but injury concerns
India's only worry will be the injuries sustained by the players in the past, even though they have maintained their performance. The 15 players have been playing with each other since a couple of years and look well settled for the tournament. Mithali and Goswami could be playing their last world cup and would do their best to help India win.