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SportCricketIndian women eye redemption in T20 series against SA

Indian women eye redemption in T20 series against SA

Published: 19th Mar 2021 5:52 pm

Lucknow: Outplayed in the ODI series, Indian women will have to lift their game in all departments to redeem themselves in the three-match T20 series against South Africa, beginning here on Saturday.

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Apart from the nine-wicket win in the second match, Mithali Raj’s side failed to fire as a unit against their South African counterparts, who looked in good rhythm throughout the series.
In the words of skipper Mithali Raj, India looked underprepared in their first series in 12 months. While they posted competitive scores in the 3rd and 4th ODIs, the hosts struggled to below-par totals in the first and fifth games.

With Jemimah Rodrigues short of runs, India missed the flair of young Shafali Verma. However, the 17-year-old, who had an amazing T20 World Cup last year, will be back at the top of the order.

Star opener Smriti Mandhana had just one good innings to show in the five-ODI series and will need to step up. India will also hope that the change of captaincy will bring a change of luck as Harmanpreet Kaur looks to lead from the front. With 160 runs, the left-handed batter has looked in good touch with the bat.

Harleen Deol and Richa Ghosh will also look to make use of the chances that they get to show their skills in the middle order.

In the one-dayers, the hosts’ bowling was too dependent on veteran Jhulan Goswami as the spinners, save Rajeshwari Gayakwad (8 wickets), failed to make a mark, which is one of the prime reasons for the loss.

Senior leg-spinner Poonam Yadav and spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma were dropped from the fifth ODI after their lacklustre show and the duo will look to bounce back in the shortest format.

Smriti to lead in place of injured Harman

India skipper Harmanpreet Singh has been ruled out of the opening women’s T20 International of the three-match series against South Africa here due to an injury, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana said on Friday.

Harmanpreet suffered a hip-flexor injury while batting in the fifth ODI against the same opponents on Wednesday. The series opener will be held on Saturday. “She (Harmanpreet) is out of tomorrow’s match and rest of the update on her condition will be given by the medical team,” Mandhana, a left-handed opener, said during a virtual pre-match press conference.

India were outplayed by South Africa in the women’s ODI series with the visitors pocketing the rubber 1-4. But Mandhana said the ODI series is a thing of the past as their focus shifts to the T20 rubber. “We will try to forget the ODIs and focus on the T20 series. Yes, the ODI series was a disappointment but we need to forget that and move ahead.’’

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