Women’s cricket: Kiwis expect close series

Bengaluru, June 25 (IANS) New Zealand’s women team head coach Haidee Tiffen on Thursday said her players were gradually getting acclimatized to the conditions here and that heat would be a factor, but expected a close tussle against hosts India whom they play in a five-match ODI series beginning here Sunday.

Speaking at a media interaction here, Tiffen said: “Condition-wise, we are trying to acclimatise to the heat here. That is a challenge in itself. We are trying to keep things simple and not over-dramatise things.

“I expect the series to be well-fought. The Indian team is good and has some World-class players.”

The Kiwi squad, led by Suzie Bates, is without Sara Macglashan, a veteran of two World Cups and leg-spinner Erin Bermingham who skipped the tour due to work commitments.

Meanwhile, qualifying for the 2017 women’s World Cup is very much a priority for India ahead of the ODI series, said former captain Jhulan Goswami.

“It is very necessary to win first three matches to gain points in an effort to qualify for 2017 women’s World Cup,” she said.

Goswami was confident of winning the series as she felt the Indian team had match-winning players in their ranks besides enjoying the home advantage.

“This New Zealand team is good, but we are playing on our home soil and we will take advantage of that.

“We cannot predict the outcome of ODI series. It all depends on how you perform on a particular day,” she said.

On team composition for the first one-dayer, Goswami said much would depend on the weather with the city experiencing intermittent showers almost daily and that the hosts would be keenly watching the warm-up game between India A and the Kiwis here Friday.

“Tomorrow, they are playing against India A. We will see how the pitch behaves and thereafter the management will pick the best eleven,” said Goswami.

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