Mumbai, Dec 13 (PTI): High on confidence after an inspirational ‘Super Over’ win, Indian women will look to maintain momentum with improved fielding and bowling performance against the mighty Australia in the third T20I here on Wednesday.
After the first two games at a packed D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, the cricket caravan moves to the iconic Brabourne Stadium in the Southern part of the ‘Maximum City’ where another belter of a track awaits the two teams.
The game on Sunday turned out be a perfect advert for women’s cricket with a 47,000 plus crowd witnessing an edge of the seat thriller.
For a change, India, who have often gone suicidal from winning positions against Australia, were finally able to end up on the right side of the result.
However, the famous win is in the past now, and as pointed out by batting coach (acting head coach) Hrishikesh Kanitkar in a stirring speech after the game, India have a lot of work to do with the five-match series locked at 1-1.
The ability has always been there to regularly compete with the likes of Australia but India need to do the little things to gain the remarkable consistency of their rivals.
Indian batters have done their job but the bowling and fielding in the first two games left a lot to be desired. The hosts have been able to take only two wickets in the series so far and that is a major concern. The catching too has been pretty sub-standard.
The pace department doesn’t give a lot of hope with Meghna Singh leaking runs and rookie left-am pacer Anjali Sarvani not able to provide early breakthroughs.
Renuka Thakur, who has been India’s standout bowler in the last six months, too is yet to take a wicket. To be fair to Renuka, she does need a bit of nip in the air to let the ball do all the talking.
Wrist-spinner Devika Vaidya, who is playing her first T20 series in eight years, is yet to make an impact with the ball but did her bit with the willow in a tense situation with a couple of boundaries.
With Yastika Bhatia warming the bench, Jemimah Rodrigues needs to find the runs after two failures while opener Shafali Verma needs to build on her quickfire starts.
Australia skipper Alyssa Healy would be eager to lead from the front in the crucial clash at CCI.
India ended their winning streak this year and Healy admitted that their bowling could have been better in the game. Her opening partner Beth Mooney has shown unstoppable form and would look to continue in the same vein. The same can be said about number three Tahlia McGrath.
As many as four bowlers ended up with an economy rate of 10 plus runs per over and Australia would be expected to correct that on Wednesday.
Squads: Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland
India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh Thakur, Meghna Singh, Anjali Sarvani, Devika Vaidya, S Meghana, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol
Match starts 7 pm IST.