When India take on Australia in the first match of the T20 tri-series involving India at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday, they do so having imbibed the lessons learnt in their warm-up loss to the Australian Governor General’s XI.
The Indian batting struggled against the likes of Molly Strano and Belinda Vakarewa, with young Jemimah Rodrigues the only batsman who could put up a resistance against a strong bowling attack.
But at the same time, the Indian seamers like Pooja Vastrakar, Shikha Pandey and newbie Richa Ghosh would fancy their chances at the Manuka Oval should the pitch provide even slight assistance for quick bowlers.
However, been these micro-details, the larger focus for India is to prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, and the tri-series against the home side and quality opposition in England provides the women in blue the perfect opportunity to do so. Considering that most of the Indian players have not played in Australia before, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy and Smriti Mandhana would be their go-to for advice, having represented WBBL franchises previously.
On the other hand, England will just look to fine-tune their preparations rather than make wholesale changes during the tri-series. Their strength lies in the all-round options which they possess, which can go a long way in a dynamic format like T20.
Natalie Sciver, Danielle Wyatt, Georgia Elwiss and Heather Knight form the core of the England team, and with all of them coming into their peak, they could be the team to watch out for during the T20I tri-series and beyond, in the run-up to the T20 World Cup.
India’s recent memories of playing England are not pleasant either. When India hosted England in March 2019, the hosts suffered a 3-0 series whitewash at the hands of the visitors. But the form of both teams since that series has been a lot different as well. India registered series wins against South Africa at home and West Indies away, while England had to contend with a loss in the Ashes before winning against Pakistan.
The first leg of the tri-series will be played at the Manuka Oval, before the teams move to Melbourne the following week. With all three teams finely balanced, this tri-series has the potential to be one of the more exciting ones in the ever growing landscape of women’s cricket.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodriguez, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy, Nuzhat Parween.
England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Amy Jones, Danielle Wyatt, Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Davies, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Sarah Glenn, Kate Cross, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson.
Australia: Meg Lanning ( c ) Rachael Haynes, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen , Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham