India vs Australia: Ruthless visitors primed for clean sweep

Australian women have already won the series emphatically but nobody expects them to play with any less intensity in the third ODI on Sunday.

Indian women have been outclassed by their Australian counterparts in the three-match ODI series so far.   -  Vijay Soneji

Back in 1983, Clive Lloyd’s touring West Indies side thrashed India 5-0 in the One-Day International (ODI) series to avenge its defeat to the underdog at the World Cup. Meg Lanning’s Australian women’s team seems to be as unforgiving as it takes on India in the third and final ODI at the Reliance Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

Australia has already won the series emphatically but nobody expects it to play with any less intensity. The girls would want a complete annihilation, something their opener Nicole Bolton has achieved against the Indian spinners with great success. A 3-0 score might lessen the pain of their stunning loss in the World Cup semifinal eight months ago.

Batting struggles

It took an out-of-the-world innings from Harmanpreet Kaur to take India to a stunning victory at Derby. The hard-hitting batsman, however, has had a hard time here.

She isn’t the only one who has struggled, though. Except for an attractive 67 by opener Smriti Mandhana in the second match, the home batsmen have put on a disappointing show.

The fact is that this Indian side, starring captain Mithali Raj in the lead role, boasts one of the strongest line-ups in the world, but it requires at least a couple of the ladies at the top of the order to stay in the middle for some time and build partnerships. It is something the Australians have done with aplomb.

Brilliant Bolton

The only time their top-class batting was really tested was in the second game when they lost three wickets while adding 14 runs, but a fifth-wicket partnership of 96 between Ellyse Perry and Beth Mooney took the game away from India. It is about Bolton however, that the host would worry more. Bolton has scored 100 not out and 84, in the two matches she has played so far.

The visitors have bowled well, too. Left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen and leggie Amanda-Jayde Wellington have claimed 12 wickets between them.

Their Indian counterparts could take a leaf out of their book when it comes to bowling with discipline. Perhaps it is time to pull up their socks to provide some respite to the crowd that has turned out in large numbers.

The teams (from)
  • India: Mithali Raj (c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar and Deepti Sharma.
  • Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani and Amanda-Jade Wellington.
  • Match starts at 9 a.m.