In their opening match of the ICC Women's World Cup about a month ago when India took on home favourites England, they had come into the tournament on a winning note. Not only had they won their last four ODI series, they had defeated South Africa in the final of the qualifier and the quadrangular series. But captain Mithali Raj had remained cautious. " In the World Cup we need to start a fresh again," she had said. Cut the scene to a month later and India women are on the verge of making history. They will once again take on the home team on 23rd June and they had beaten by 35 runs at Derby, but the venue this time will be Lord's.
At the World Cup has been terrific so far the India team's run. For the second time they have reached the final and are looking to win their maiden title against thrice winners England. Teams they have beaten toughly are Australia, Paskistam, New Zealand en route while specific members have gone on to make impressive records.
6000-run mark which is crossed by Mithali and also became the highest run-scorer in women's ODIs, Ekta Bisht and Rajeshwari Gayakwad's five-wicket hauls against Pakistan and New Zealand, respectively, have helped India's results immensely.
However, the name on everyone's lips at the moment is that of Harmanpreet Kaur, whose stunning unbeaten 171 outclassed former champions Australia in the semi-finals.
India need to keep the winning momentum going to be able to lift their maiden World Cup. For the statistically minded, Mithali has scored more runs against England in ODIs than any other player (1605) while both teams have one ODI victory over the other at Lord's.
So, can the 'Women In Blue' overcome the English challenge once again to win their maiden World Cup? The answer will be declared on Sunday.