India target mighty England in Women's T20

India will have to quickly sort out their batting woes if they want to surprise England in the their inaugural ICC Women's World T20 opening match

updated: June 11, 2009 18:11 IST
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Taunton, England:

India will have to quickly sort out their batting woes if they want to surprise formidable England in the their inaugural ICC Women's World Twenty20 opening match on Thursday.

Hosts England are the 50-over World Cup winners but with the Twenty20 format new to all the teams, Jhulan Goswami's side can fancy upsetting the tournament favourites.

The Indians, who have played just two T20 Internationals, finished third in the ODI World Cup in March and they did not have the best of the build-ups to the tournament with a 17-run loss to New Zealand here yesterday in their only warm-up game.

Skipper Jhulan Goswami was confident that her side had the wherewithal to be among the top sides in the tournament.

"You need to play with your mind. If you're mentally strong you can beat (any team) and we are confident about ourselves," she said.

Goswami will though depend a lot on her two seniormost team-mates -- Anjum Chopra and Mithali Raj -- to soar up the batting which could not chase down 124 against New Zealand on Tuesday.

Both former captains, Chopra and Raj had played 116 and 115 ODIs and they have vast experience of playing in England though they are also new to Twenty20 having played just one and two Internationals respectively.

Chopra has scored a century and two half-centuries in 13 ODIs in England and if India have to beat England she will have to contribute in a big way with the bat.

India coach Sudha Shah had said before leaving for the tournament: "We have a balanced side with a mix of experience and young players in the team. We have one of the best bowling attacks. Gouher Sultana has been bowling well in her first few series and Priyanka Roy was our highest wicket-taker in the 50-over World Cup".

England, on the other hand, have played 11 T20 Internationals (six wins and five losses) and they have two experience campaigners in captain Charlotte Edwards and Claire Taylor, the world's number batswoman and Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

If Goswami and her bowling colleagues could quiet make the two English senior batswomen, the job would be half done.

Edwards insisted her team can cope with the pressure of playing at home.

"I'd rather be in our position than not to be honest. It's new territory for us, but we're not feeling the pressure from it at all."

The first round of the tournament will be played at Taunton, the home of English county Somerset, while the semifinals (at Trent Bridge in Nottingham and the Oval in London) and the final (at Lord's in London) to be played simultaneously with the men's ICC World Twenty20.