Indian women to play for pride in final T20I against South Africa

The final game may be of little consequence as far as the rubber goes, but the Women in Blue will surely want to avoid a whitewash.

South Africa wrapped up the series with a six-wicket win in the second T20I.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

For most of the first half of the second T20I at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium on Sunday night, the future of Indian women’s cricket was on display. And it looked bright.

Shafali Verma (17-years-old), Richa Ghosh (17), Harleen Deol (22) and Jemimah Rodrigues (20), between them, scored 138 out of India’s total of 158 for four. While Jemimah and Shafali have already established themselves in the Indian team, Richa and Harleen haven’t, but they very well could, sooner than later.

India, however, failed to defend a good total, as the team paid the price for poor fielding. South Africa thus won the series — its first against India in this format — with a game to spare.

Improvement in fielding

The final game, to be played on Tuesday, therefore may be of little consequence as far as the rubber goes, but the Women in Blue will surely want to avoid a whitewash. They will have to come up with an improved display, especially in fielding and bowling.

South Africa’s batting has been pretty dominant and its depth has worried the Indian bowling greatly. Somebody has been there to take the visitor home, like 21-year-old Laura Wolvaardt on Sunday, when she scored an unbeaten 53 (39b).

It will be interesting to see if the young Indian players can also deliver when it matters.

Teams (from)

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

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

Match starts at 7pm IST.