Even in a cricket crazy country like India, the women’s game does not get its due. The matches are rarely televised, and most people don’t know the names of the players. But, all that is changing. The entire country will be on its feet to watch the India Women vs England Women, Women’s World Cup 2017 Final at the home of cricket (Lord’s) tomorrow.
It feels as if Chak De India! has come to life. Let’s look at the similarities.
The coach is newly appointed
Just like Kabir Khan takes the reins shortly before the Hockey World Cup, Tushar Arothe became Indian Team’s coach as recently as April 2017.
India does not come into the tournament as favourites
India were never the favourites, as women’s teams from Australia, England and New Zealand have done better in previous editions of the World Cup.
Mithali Raj is like Vidya Sharma, Smriti Mandhana is like Preeti Sabarwal and Harmanpreet Kaur is like Balbir Kaur
Even the players are similar. Mitali Raj reminds us of Vidya Sharma, an experienced player who plays her captaincy role perfectly. Smriti Madhana is just as talented and effective as Preeti Sabarwal who was a prodigious striker in the film. Finally, Harmanpreet Kaur who bullied Australian bowlers by scoring a terrific 171, reminds us of Balbir Kaur whose inner angst was what she utilised.
India does not make it to the semi-finals comfortably
India lost their group matches against Australia and South Africa, and had to win their last game against New Zealand to qualify. In the movie, something similar happens and India barely reaches the semi-finals.
They play their finals against the Host Nation
The Hockey World Cup final in the film was played against Australia, who were the host nations. The Women’s World Cup 2017 Final will be played against England, who are the host nations.
The Chak De India! final was a close encounter, even though, we always knew India was going to win (it’s a commercial film, after all). We hope that tomorrow’s final is a similarly close game, that keeps us hooked to our seats. However, since this is real life, we are really scared about the prospect of India losing. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.