New Delhi. Buoyed by the return of Harmanpreet Kaur, the Indian women’s cricket team will look to end the tour by registering a win in the three-match T20I series against strong Australia (INDW vs AUSW). Harmanpreet missed the ODI series and the only day-night Test match due to a thumb injury but is now fit. The attacking side of the team’s batting has strengthened with the arrival of Harmanpreet. The opening pair of young Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana are in excellent form. Mandhana had scored her maiden Test century just a few days back. The first match of the T20 series will be played on 7 October.
The return of Harmanpreet is a good sign for the team but all eyes will be on the young Shefali who is known to bat in an aggressive manner. During this tour, the Indian team showed that it can adjust to different formats within a short period of time. With this, she was able to dominate the test played with the pink ball as well. Earlier, he had led Australia’s 26-win campaign in ODIs. The injury was a big blow for Harmanpreet but this T20 series will be very important for her ahead of next year’s ODI World Cup. She is a match winner in the shortest format of the game and would not want to miss any chance in these matches.
The Australian bowlers will target Shefali, Mandhana and Harmanpreet while young Jemima Rodrigues will get another chance to regain her form. He may not have done well for the national team in the recent past but he had an impressive batting performance in ‘The Hundred’ in England. The bouncy wickets of Australia also suit their game. Australia have a lot of all-rounders which makes them look very strong in this format but India seems fully prepared to give them a tough challenge.
India have not been getting the services of experienced bowler Jhulan Goswami in T20 for some time now but bowlers like Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar and Shikha Pandey have done well. In batting, India’s eyes will also be on wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh and Yastika Bhatia in the middle order. Australia captain Meg Lanning will be hoping that her all-rounder will be able to make a difference again.
Australia can also give debut all-rounder Tahlia McGrath in this series, who had an impressive performance in the Test match. Looking at the recent form, both Annabel Sutherland and Nicola Carey have a strong claim to a place in the playing XI, given the excellent record.
The teams are as follows:
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice Captain), Shefali Verma, Jemima Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Shikha Pandey, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh (WK), Harleen Deol, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh.
Australia: Meg Lanning (Captain), Darcy Brown, Matlen Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashley Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGraw, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Alice Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tyla Vlaminck , Georgia Wareham.