Indian Eves looking to seal the series
With a view to a decisive victory in the series, the Indian women’s cricket team would expect a better performance from them when they face Sri Lanka in the second T20 International here on Saturday.
The Indians got off to a positive start to the island nation’s limited overrun tour with a 34-point win in the series opener on Thursday.
The team would aim not only to secure the three-match series but also to resolve gray areas and build on their winning streak ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where women’s cricket will make its debut in the T20 format.
The Birmingham Games will take place from July 28 to August 8.
In the series opener, the Indians shot a modest 138 for six after opting to strike before the bowlers, led by left-arm spinner Radha Yadav, shocked the Lankan batters. But India’s batting spectacle left a lot to be desired in the first game.
The likes of Shafali Verma, who had a 31 run-a-ball, skipper Harmanpreet Kaur (22) and Richa Ghosh (11) all got starts but couldn’t convert them into substantial hits.
Having failed in the previous game, Harmanpreet hopes to eclipse the legendary Mithali Raj in the shorter format. She needs just 24 runs to become India’s best run-getter in this format. Mithali, who recently retired from all forms of cricket, had scored 2364 runs in 89 games.
Vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and Sabbhineni Meghana endured a day off at the office and the visitors would need the duo to click if India are to get a big total.
It was left to Jemimah Rodrigues, who returned to the side after a while, and Deepti Sharma to provide the late burst and bring India to the winning aggregate Even though Rodrigues and Deepti did the saving act , the Indian think tank would like the first order to do a better job.
The Indian bowlers, on the other hand, were right with the spin troika of Radha (2/22), Deepti (1/9) and part-time Shafali (1/10) shining on the low and slow wicket. .
With the same venue hosting all three T20s, spinners from both teams will play a vital role.
Sri Lanka are also hoping for a better effort from their hitters.
Mid-order hitter Kavisha Dilhari (47 not out) remained stuck as she failed to gain support from the other hand. The likes of skipper Chamari Athapaththu, Vishmi Gunaratne, Harshitha Madavi and Nilakshi de Silva will have to take on more responsibility in the batting unit.
On the bowling front, the spin duo of Inoka Ranaweera (3/30) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (2/22) would seek support from their opening bowlers to keep the Indian batters quiet.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Simran Bahadur, Yastika Bhatia, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh (WK), Sabbhineni Meghana, Meghna Singh, Poonam Yadav, Renuka Singh, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (C), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Madavi, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Sathya Sandeepani, Anushka Sanjeewani, Malsha Shehani, Tharika Sewwandi.