Sports

IND-W Vs BAN-W Preview: India Women Seek Revival In International Cricket In Bangladesh

India Women were last seen in action during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa, where they lost to Australia in the knockout stage by a narrow margin.

Smriti Mandhana bats during a team practice session in Mirpur on Friday.
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India Women's cricket team kicks off its tour of Bangladesh with the three-match T20I series in Mirpur on Sunday, followed by three ODIs, which will start on July 16.

The Women in Blue have a few fresh faces, who will be expected to grab the opportunity to see their team flourish on this away tour.

The team led by Harmanpreet Kaur was last seen in action as a unit during the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa, where it lost to Australia in the knockout stage.

Harmanpreet and Co have had a few months to reflect on their performance. National duty aside, they also got to work on their game during the inaugural Women's Premier League in March.

In their first outing since, India will look to improve themselves in different areas, including bowling and fitness. They have also lacked a strong finisher, which has cost the team a few important fixtures in the recent past.

Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh, who have played vital roles in India's wins in recent times, will not be a part of the team, giving other fresh faces the chance to shine in the limelight.

In Ghosh's absence, veteran Deepti Sharma will be expected to finish games for India, with Pooja Vastrakar and Amanjot Kaur needing to step up to the plate in similar roles.

Among wicketkeepers, Yastika Bhatia and Uma Chetry are the two choices. While Bhatia is expected to get the nod, she will need to amplify her striking prowess with her current strike-rate way below par at 85.38.

Bangladesh, who have not posed much threat to India, will look to address the Shafali Verma concern at the top of the order. Verma, however, lately struggled with short deliveries, and that could prove to be her downfall if the Bangladeshi bowlers opt to go down that route.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur is not downplaying the threats that Bangladesh might pose playing in their own backyard. Speaking on the eve of their opening match, she said, "Bangladesh are a very good side, they always play good cricket in home conditions. We are ready for the challenge. We have had two, three days to prepare and we feel prepared in all the departments."

Squads:

Bangladesh: Nigar Sultana (captain, wk), Nahida Akter, Dilara Akter, Shathi Rani, Shamima Sultana, Sobhana Mostary, Murshida Khatun, Shorna Akter, Ritu Moni, Disha Biswas, Marufa Akter, Sanjida Akter Meghla, Rabeya Khan, Sultana Khatun, Salma Khatun, Fahima Khatun.

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Devika Vaidya, Uma Chetry (wk), Amanjot Kaur, S. Meghana, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Anjali Sarvani, Monica Patel, Rashi Kanojiya, Anusha Bareddy, Minnu Mani.

The match starts 1.30 IST.

(With inputs from PTI)

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