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Fantasy: Back Smriti, Richa and Renuka to be vital picks

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Last updated on 19 Feb 2023 | 09:56 AM
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Fantasy: Back Smriti, Richa and Renuka to be vital picks

Here are a few tips that could help you create your fantasy XI for Match 18 of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup between India Women and Ireland Women

India will need to recover as soon as possible from their loss against England, starting with the clash against Ireland on Monday. Ireland are yet to open their account in the tournament, having lost all their three games thus far, against England, Pakistan and then West Indies. 

Will they spring a surprise by winning the clash against India? 

Ground details

St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth hasn’t been the most kind of surfaces for the batters. Across eight innings, the average first-innings total here at the venue has been 124, which surely hasn’t been a winning total. Teams who have looked to win here have tried to post a total in the region of 150-155. 

But majorly it has been a venue that has aided both the type of bowlers – pacers and spinners – with 38 wickets in eight innings. While the pacers have picked up 22 wickets, averaging 19.2, the spinners have picked up 16 wickets, averaging 34. So yet again, the onus will be on Renuka to give India the early breakthroughs. 

Not just that, at this venue, the pacers have averaged 19.9 in the powerplay, unlike spinners who have an average of 126. Even if India open the bowling with Deepti Sharma, all eyes would on the right-arm pacer.

Suggested Team

While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.

Captaincy Suggestions

For small leagues: Smriti Mandhana (captain), Deepti Sharma (vice-captain)

For grand leagues: Orla Prendergast (captain), Richa Ghosh (vice-captain)

Stats that matter

-    Harmanpreet Kaur is India’s leading run-scorer in the shortest format this year, with 162 runs, at an average of 40.5, with one half-century. Smriti Mandhana is pretty close to the Indian skipper, with 148 runs but her average – 29.6 – isn’t as good as the right-hander. 

-    With the ball in hand, it has been Deepti Sharma, who has been the pick of the Indian bowlers, with 14 wickets, averaging 12.9, bowling three maidens as well. While the off-spinner didn’t have the best of outings against England, against Ireland, there is a strong opportunity that we could see her back to her best. 

-    Ireland haven’t played a lot of T20Is this year but in the three T20Is that they have played, it has been the right-arm pacer Arlene Kelly who has topped the wickets chart. Cara Murray too has picked up three wickets, at an average of 19.3. It would be interesting to see how the two go about their things against India. 

Grand League Punts

-    In four T20Is this year, Richa Ghosh has been in sensational form for the Women in Blue, with 122 runs without being dismissed. She’s the only Indian batter who has scored with a strike-rate of 141.9, with a boundary every 5.4 deliveries. If the top-order fails, she might yet again be crucial for India.

-    The 20-year-old Orla Prendergast has been a major driving force in this campaign for Ireland. In their three games thus far, the right-hander has scored 17, 31 and 61 and across all the three innings looked like the best batter for the country. Against the Indian bowling unit, who have a lot of spinners, the right-hander could be integral. 

Here are the Top 10 Criclytics projections

Probable XIs

India might consider one change after the loss against England, bringing back Devika Vaidya to extend their batting unit. Barring that, expect the team to remain the same. 

Predicted India XI: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Devika Vaidya, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Renuka Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav

Ireland are almost out of the tournament but they can really spoil India’s party here. So, expect Ireland to stick with the same team. 

Ireland Predicted XI: Amy Hunter, Gaby Lewis, Orla Prendergast, Laura Delany (c), Eimear Richardson, Louise Little, Mary Waldron (wk), Leah Paul, Arlene Kelly, Cara Murray, Jane Maguire

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