The Indian women’s team are in England this summer for two T20s and five ODIs. They return having played in the quadrangular series last season and fared quite poorly then. For England, it will be the first series since the retirement of Isa Guha. To say that the smart money in this series is on England would be an understatement. More correct would be to say that the sane money is on an England side who won all ten completed T20s they have played since the start of last summer and nine out of ten ODIs.
England have had the better results for the very simple reason that they have had the better players. If one makes a direct comparison of players, all the lists are dominated by Englishwomen. In the T20s, the two best averages and strike rates over the past twelve months belong to Sarah Taylor and the captain Charlotte Edwards. Looking farther back, over the past two years, India do not have a single batsman who averages over 25, has a strike rate over fifty and has scored at least a hundred runs. England have three. India have an excellent T20 bowler in Jhulan Goswami, but over the past twelve months she has been second best to Anya Shrubsole in wickets per match, average and economy. England also have a much better attack overall; Goswami has not been well supported by her colleagues.
The comparison of ODI statistics is even more dramatic. Each side has played ten ODIs in the past twelve months in which time England have had five centurions and India none. England have also had nine scores between fifty and a hundred to India’s eight. Most damningly, of batsmen who have scored at least 100 runs total there are three Englishwomen who average over fifty, but the top Indian average is a mere 33. As in the T20 stats, India are able to claw a little bit back in the bowling department. England still have a clear advantage, however, especially with Katherine Brunt returning after being rested for the tour to New Zealand.
This should be a fairly straightforward victory for England. They are literally a professional side and are on home soil. On paper at least, India are simply outclassed. Given the superior backing that the England side have, it is probably unfair to expect too much from India. Unfortunately there will be no Tests; those seem to be reserved for the Ashes now. (It is probably just as well for India, however, seeing how their men’s side did in England last summer!) In the seven matches that will be played, I expect England to win both T20s and at least four of the five ODIs. There is no reason why they cannot pull off a whitewash, but all of the limited overs formats can get a bit unpredictable.