INDW vs AUSW: In-form Indian eves take on formidable Aussies

The Aussies have an opportunity to avenge the 2017 World Cup semifinal loss in the three-match ODI series that begins at the Reliance Cricket Stadium in Vadodara on Monday.

Harmanpreet Kaur vs Australia

Harmanpreet Kaur scored a blistering 171 the last time India and Australia met.   -  icc-cricket.com

As you come out of the Vadodara International Airport, you are unlikely to miss the fairly big hoarding featuring the women in blue.

India’s women cricketers have begun to get the space they deserve, be it on the billboard, in the media or in the hearts of sports fans. Their matches are being telecast live, too.

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Mithali Raj thus is no longer the only famous Indian female cricketer. Talented women like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have also become familiar faces.

Their splendid performance at the World Cup in England last year – they lost in the final to the host by just nine runs – have gone a long way in rising their profile. Their finest hour of that tournament had come in the semifinal, when they stunned reigning champion Australia.

The Aussies have an opportunity to take revenge in the three-match ODI series that begins at the Reliance Cricket Stadium here on Monday. It is a great opportunity for the Indian women too, as they could show the world that they are indeed -- as the Australian coach said at the press conference here on Sunday – on an upward curve. They had completed a historic double in South Africa couple of weeks ago, winning both the ODI and T20 series.

At the press meet, Aussie captain Meg Lanning admitted that the defeat at the World Cup had hurt. This series would be particularly important for her as she is coming back from a shoulder injury that kept her out of the game for the last eight months.

She is the biggest star in what is a very strong Australian batting line-up, which also includes Ellyse Perry, the world’s No.1 ranked batswoman. Three days ago in Mumbai, the skipper showed her batting hadn’t got rusty, making 63 before retiring.

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Batting is the strength of the host too, with the presence of Mithali, Harmanpreet, Mandhana, Punam Raut and Veda Krishnamurthy. It would be interesting to see if the teenage sensation Jemimah Rodrigues would get her ODI cap.

India, however, could miss the bowling of its veteran seamer Jhulan Goswami on, what the coach Tushar Arothe reckons, is a good batting wicket.

The teams (from):

India: Mithali Raj (capt.), 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 (capt.), 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.

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