World Cup encounter: Pakistan women face uphill task against experienced India

Published July 1, 2017
India has won all of their nine matches played against Pakistan. —AP/File
India has won all of their nine matches played against Pakistan. —AP/File

Pakistan and India are all set to face each other in their third match of the ongoing ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 in Derby on Sunday.

Going by the records, the match is expected to be an uneven contest with India as the clear favourites. However, after what Pakistan men’s team did to their Indian counterparts three Sundays ago, no one should count the ‘unpredictable’ Pakistan out.

Pakistan started their World Cup campaign with a win against the current T20 champions West Indies in a warm-up game. But the team has since failed to find the form and lost three consecutive matches against Australia, South Africa and England.

They’ve also suffered a set-back with the experienced batting all-rounder Bismah Maroof being ruled out of the tournament because of an injured hand.

India, on the other hand has had a great run in the tournament so far as they have won both their matches, also beating the strong England side on the way which had scored a hefty 377 against Pakistan.

Pakistan fans will not find respite in past records as the Indian side has won all of its nine matches played against Pakistan. All of them have been one-sided affairs, with the Indian side beating Pakistan by 7 wickets in the latest game played in February this year.

India, which entered the women’s cricketing arena in 1978, maintains the third highest win-loss ratio, only behind Australia and England. Pakistan is far behind, winning only 40 of the 139 matches they have played since 1997.

Recent performances of the two teams also paint a similar picture. India have lost only five of their 26 matches played in the last two years, while Sana Mir’s side has only won five of their 21.

Therefore, unlike the men’s teams of the two countries, the women’s teams are unevenly matched. But that has little to do with how the players perform on the field on that given day.

While the men’s teams of the two nations began playing cricket around the same time, there exists a two-decade long gap between India and Pakistan forming their women’s side — India had already played 45 games when Pakistan played their first. The differential in performances of the two teams is also reflective of the availability of sport infrastructure, especially that for women, in the two countries.

When Pakistan face India tomorrow, it will not be a match between two evenly matched teams backed by similar structures and management, but that between a minnow still evolving and a giant that has arrived.

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