The women’s cricket fraternity will have its eyes fixed on the proceedings at a suburban hotel in the Maximum City, with the Women’s Premier League player auction. But for Harmanpreet Kaur and Co., more than the proceedings at the auction enclosure, the focus will be at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday evening.
Trailing the three-match T20I series after Wednesday’s loss in the opening fixture, India will be eager to keep the series alive going into Sunday’s decider and keep its quest of winning its first bilateral series against England in the shortest format.
Not once has India beaten England in a bilateral T20I series (at least two games) so far. And the task will be humongous come Saturday.
England appears to be a well-rounded unit, with almost all the top players having hit the top gear right from the word go. India will have to hope for Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana to fire with the willow to support an inexperienced spin pack.
Titas Sadhu, the young pacer, has recovered from an illness that forced her to be not considered for the series-opener. The star of the Asian Games gold-medal winning campaign had a long stint in the nets, both with the ball and the bat on Friday afternoon. Later on, Harmanpreet was optimistic about Titas’ availability should she be cleared by the medical staff on the match day.
While India’s batters appeared rusty and bowlers suffered Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danny Wyatt’s wrath, one area that India cannot afford to slip up at fielding. Wednesday’s fielding effort was mediocre, to say the least. It didn’t come as a surprise then that promising offie Shreyanka Patil along with veteran Deepti Sharma did a long drill of return catches with head coach Amol Muzumdar.
With hardly any of the India squad members to feature in the auction, Saturday will offer an ideal opportunity for the Indian girls to overshadow the money-spinners with a winning performance. Can they do it? Watch this space.
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