India women look to avenge ODI defeat against SA (Preview)

India women will look to avenge their ODI series loss to South Africa women when they take on their opponents in the three-match T20 International series that begins at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

India had lost the ODI series 1-4, managing to win only the second match as their bowling faltered. The spinners were disappointing as Proteas women batters had it easy, losing no more than five wickets in all the four ODIs they won. India bowled their opponents out in the only game they won.

Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the T20 side, taking over from Mithali Raj who captained the team in the ODIs. Raj is not part of India’s T20 side since she retired a year-and-a-half ago.

Opening batter Shafali Verma, whose exclusion from the ODI team surprised many is part of the T20 side. The 17-year-old from Haryana is known to go after the bowling from the start. She is just 13 short of 500 runs in her T20 International career and has a strike rate of 146.24 and has hit 58 fours and 21 sixes.

India’s spin trio Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Poonam Yadav will again be the key for India in restricting the Proteas batters. Captain Harmapnpreet Kaur’s off-spin will also provide variety.

The Proteas women, especially Lizelle Lee (288 runs in 4 matches), got the measure of the Indian bowlers in the one-dayers. Among others, Mignon du Preez and Laura Wolvaardt have also chipped in when needed.

India’s batters too did well with Punam Raut leading the way with 263 runs in four matches. Raut though is not part of the T20I squad.

T20I squads

India women: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur.

SA women: Sune Luus (captain), Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Anneke Bosch, Faye Tunniclife, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune.