Return to international cricket didn’t turn out to be a memorable one for India. South Africa breezed past them in the opening encounter of the five-match series and certainly, looked like a team that had enough game time in the middle. They played against Pakistan at home before this series and never looked rusty, unlike their opposition players who were playing exactly after 364 days.
Having said that, a majority of Indian players were also part of the Women’s T20 Challenge which was played alongside the IPL playoffs. But even that happened in November 2020. India vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur also cited ‘lack of game time’ as one of the reasons for their poor show in the series opener. Mithali Raj, Kaur, and to some extent, Deepti Sharma looked good before they got out.
Even with the ball, the likes of Jhulan Goswami, debutant Monica Patel and the spinners hardly troubled the South African batters. They will need to be more consistent in their line and lengths in the next game to make early and regular inroads.
South Africa, however, will be delighted to start a tough tour on a brilliant note. They registered their first ODI win in India over the hosts since 2014 and will be looking to make merry now. The veteran pace bowler Shabnim Ismail was at her best in the opening game while the rest of the bowlers also supported her well to restrict India. Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt then did the job with the bat notching up record 169 runs for the opening wicket.
The visitors will be aware that India will come hard at them to level the series and Sune Luus will hope that her girls won’t drop the guard after such a sensational start to the tour.
Pitch and Conditions
Conditions eased out to bat in the afternoon and India must have rued losing the toss. However, after the first hour, they also could’ve batted better. The team winning the toss should look to chase. There is a slight chance of rain but that shouldn’t bother both the sides as they look to compete hard again.
Playing Combinations for IND-W vs SA-W
This was the comeback game for team India in international cricket and the management will definitely not make any changes to the team. But they would expect better application from batters and an improved effort from the whole team. Monica Patel bowled only four overs on debut and didn’t look threatening. A lot will be expected of her too.
India’s top three, Jemimah, Smriti and Punam should set a solid platform for the middle-order to capitalise especially if the hosts bat first again.
Probable XI: Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Mithali Raj (C), Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (WK), Jhulan Goswami, Monica Patel, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad.
South Africa definitely didn’t miss their regular skipper Dane van Niekerk who didn’t play in the Pakistan series as well. The pacers, Ismail, Khaka and Kapp did well in the first hour with the ball and that set the tone for the rest of the game. The visitors picked wickets whenever India looked set for a big partnership. With the bat too, Lee and Wolvaardt did their job but the middle-order will have to respond if they are put under pressure.
Probable XI: Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolvaardt, Sune Luus (C), Lara Goodall, Trisha Chetty (WK), Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Clerk, Ayabonga Khaka, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Shabnim Ismail.
India Women vs South Africa Women Head-to-Head
Played- 23 | India Women – 14 | South Africa Women – 8 | NR-1
India Women vs South Africa Women Broadcast Details
Match Timings: 9:00 AM (IST)
TV: Star Sports Network
Live Streaming: Hotstar
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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