The Indian women’s cricket team will look to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series, hoping for a better performance from the top-order batsmen in the second T20 International against Sri Lanka. India started the tour on a positive note on Thursday with a 34-run win in the first T20I. The Indian team will now look to not only win the series but also look at their weak points and try to continue their winning streak ahead of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games will be held from 28 July to 8 August. Women’s cricket has been included in the T20 format for the first time in these sports.
Batting first, India could only manage 138 for six in the first match but were able to register a win with good performance by the bowlers led by left-arm spinner Radha Yadav. But the Indian batting needs a lot of improvement. Shafali Verma (31 runs), skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (22) and Richa Ghosh (11) will all need to convert their good starts into big scores.
Harmanpreet needed 24 runs for which she could not break Mithali Raj’s record for most runs in the shortest format due to her failure in the previous match. Mithali, who recently retired, has scored 2364 runs in 89 matches. Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and Sabhinene Meghna could not walk in the last match. If India wants to score big then both of them will have to play big innings.
If India manage to reach a respectable score, the credit goes to Jemima Rodriguez (36 not out off 27 balls) and Deepti Sharma (17 not out in eight balls). India would like a similar performance from the top-order batsmen. Indian bowlers on the other hand did well. The spin trio of Radha (2 for 22), Deepti (1 for 9) and part-spinner Shafali (1 for 10) played a brilliant game.
With all the three T20 matches being held at the same venue, the spinners of both the teams will play an important role.
Sri Lanka will also expect better performance from their batsmen. In the first match, middle-order batsman Kavisha Dilhari (47 not out) remained at the crease but did not get any support from the other end. Captain Chamari Atapattu, Vishmi Gunaratne, Harshita Madavi and Nilakshi de Silva will have to take more responsibility with the bat.
In the bowling, the spin pair of Inoka Ranvira (3 for 30) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (2 for 22) kept the Indian batsmen tied. He will need cooperation from other bowlers as well.
The teams are as follows:
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice Captain), Simran Bahadur, Yastika Bhatia, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Richa Ghosh (WK), Sabhinene Meghna, Meghna Singh, Poonam Yadav, Renuka Singh, Jemima Rodriguez, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma , Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Atapattu (Captain), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulsuriya, Sugandha Kumari, Harshita Madvi, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Satya Sandipani, Sanjeevani Anoushka Ranvira, Inoka , Malsha Shahani, Tharika Sewandi.