Hoping for its seniors to return, India will look to continue the winning run, when it takes on West Indies in the women’s T20 tri-series match in East London on Monday.
India, without skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in the win over hosts South Africa, gave a good account in the opener.
The captain missed the tie against South Africa owing to illness and it remains to be seen if she returns for the match against the West Indies, who are coming off a big loss against the home side.
India’s playing 11 also didn’t feature the returning Shikha Pandey, Renuka Singh and Pooja Vastrakar in the first game.
Handed the India cap by stand-in skipper Smriti Mandhana, debutant Amanjot Kaur made her first outing a memorable one with a fine performance. Reeling at 69 for five at one stage, India went on to make a fighting 147 for six after Amanjot’s 30-ball 41 while batting at number seven. Fittingly, she was named the Player of the Match in a 27-run victory.
Irrespective of whether the seniors return or not, focus will surely be on the 21-year-old Amanjot as the Women in Blue will look to consolidate their position in the tournament.
“It’s an unreal feeling. I had never thought my first match for India would go this way. This is my first press conference. And to be the Player of the Match - that was even more unexpected,” Amanjot said after the opening match here.
The tri-series is significant as it is the last tournament before the Women’s T20 World Cup which South Africa is hosting next month. The tri-series is slated to end on February 2.
Even though some seniors have taken ill and teen sensations Shafali Verma and Richa Gosh are busy with their commitments in the U-19 World Cup, India can call on the services of their ever-reliable senior all-rounder, Deepti Sharma.
Deepti was at her best against South African, scoring a 23-ball 33 and taking 3/30 in a brilliant all-round display. She will look for an encore in the upcoming match.
As far as West Indies is concerned, they will need to improve in all departments if it is to challenge the Indians.