Mumbai: Easily beaten in the tournament opener by Australia, India will hope for a reversal in fortune when they take on England in the women’s T20 triangular series here on Sunday.
The hosts will need to improve in all three departments if they are to avoid a repeat of the six-wicket defeat to the Aussies at the Brabourne Stadium.
India’s middle and lower middle order have not been among the runs and that is an area of concern for the team management.
The likes of Veda Krishnamurthy, Harmapreet Kaur, Mithali Raj — who have so much potential and experience — would certainly be eyeing a better show on a track where the ball is expected to come on to the bat nicely.
If Mithali and Harmanpreet fire in unison they can demoralise even the strong English attack. Even Mumbai girl Jemmimah Rodrigues needs to pull her socks up and play to her potential.
Only the form of vice-captain Smriti Mandhana would have satisfied coach Tushar Arothe, but the left-handed batswoman too needs to learn from her past mistakes and stay till the end.
Apart from Smriti, Anuja Patil has been getting some runs, and the team could mull sending her up the order.
Mandhana made a brisk 67 in the game against Australia but admitted that she threw her wicket way. If India want to pile up runs on the board, her role will be crucial again.
On the bowling front, veteran seamer Jhulan Goswami ran though the Australian top-order without getting adequate support from others, including Shikha Pandey and Rumeli Dhar.
Tomorrow, Pandey and Dhar will need to chip in with their effective bowling to restrict England. The spinners — Poonam Yadav and Deepti Sharma — also need to take up responsibility and deliver.
England did play spin well in their win against the Aussies yesterday, so Sharma and Yadav will have to come up with something different to stop them.
England have defeated Australia by eight wickets and will look to continue their winning streak.
All-rounder Netlie Sciver shone with both bat and ball and she would be eyeing another stellar performance, and so would Tamsin Beaumont.
England pacers and spinners have also been among the wickets.
While a win for India will bring them back in contention for a place in the final, another defeat will surely affect their morale, besides making their task even more difficult.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Anuja Patil, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia, Poonam Yadav, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Rumeli Dhar, Mona Meshram, Radha Yadav.
England: Heather Knight (captain), Tamsin Beaumont, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Katie George, Jenny Gunn, Alex Hartley, Daniellie Hazell, Amy Jones, Anya Shrubsole, Natlie Sciver, Fran Wilson, Danni Wyatt. (PTI)