The Indian women’s cricket team will take on South Africa in a five-match T20I series with the first T20 beginning at the Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat on Tuesday (September 24).
With the next edition of the Women’s World T20 now only a few months away, both teams will be keen to iron out any flaws and head into the tournament with key players in form.
The 2018 edition had seen India progress to the semi-finals before losing to eventual runners-up England whereas South Africa failed to make it out of their group.
With that in mind, South Africa’s side has a fresh look to it with 23-year old all-rounder Sune Luus at the helm of the side.
Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee are among the more experienced players in the side as the Proteas look to blood new talent ahead of the showpiece event.
For their part, India’s squad has a more settled look to it and they will be the favourites going into this series.
Mithali Raj’s retirement from the shortest format of the game leaves a hole atop the order but India have the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Jemimah Rodrigues as proven entities at international and domestic level.
Taniya Bhatia, Harleen Deol and Veda Krishnamurthy are also capable batsmen whereas the likes of Deepti Sharma and Shikha Pandey can do a job with both bat and ball.
India are well stocked in the bowling department as well with Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Pooja Vastrakar and Arundhati Reddy.
However, India’s form in bilateral T20I series’ since the last World Cup has been poor. They lost 3-0 to both New Zealand and England away from home and will hope to do better in home conditions.
South Africa, meanwhile, won a tour game ahead of this series and will be confident in their chances of pulling off an upset.
Indian women’s squad for first three T20Is: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy, Harleen Deol, Anuja Patil, Shafali Verma, Mansi Joshi.
South Africa women’s squad: Sune Luus (c), Anneke Bosch, Tasmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Ayabonga Khaka, Lara Goodall, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Mignon du Preez, Lara Wolvaardt.