A more fearless approach will be expected from India’s top-order when they meet South Africa in Saturday’s dress rehearsal for the women’s tri-series final.
West Indies losing their first three games has ensured an India-South Africa final on February 2. If wasn’t for the experienced duo of Smriti Mandhana and captain Harmanpreet Kaur, India would have struggled to post a competitive total against the West Indies in their previous league fixture.
While they both are expected to perform consistently for the team, the captain will be expecting stand-out performances from the younger lot.
Opening the innings in the absence of Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia has not been able to attack the bowlers in the powerplay. With due respect to South Africa and West India, a similar batting approach can prove costly against tougher opponents like Australia and England in the upcoming World Cup.
In the absence of Richa Ghosh, who is also on India U-19 duty with Shafali, the team needs to find another power hitter in the middle-order. Rookie Amanjot Kaur was impressive on her debut and would be itching to use the long handle again.
Jemimah Rodrigues’ wretched run has continued since the home series against Australia and she needs to find runs ahead of the ICC event next month. The game will also provide another opportunity for Harleen Deol to make an impact after two failures. All-rounder Pooja Vastrakar is yet to get a game considering her fitness but she might play on Saturday.
Shikha Pandey, who made a surprise return to the national team, will be expected to provide early breakthroughs after going wicketless in her comeback game.
Having lost to India in the tri-series opener, South Africa will be look to make amends ahead of a repeat clash in the final.
The hosts hammered West Indies by 10 wickets to seal their place in the title clash. Teams (from): India: