After having started with a defeat, India bounced back quite well in the second ODI against South Africa where they won by 9 wickets. As both the teams stand at 1-1, they would certainly try to take lead in the five-match ODI series at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on March 12.
However, both the games played on a different pitch where teams elected to field first after winning the toss. While South Africa openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt stitched a record 169-run stand in the first ODI, it was Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut who added 138 runs and sealed the deal for India in the 2nd ODI.
However, it is India’s first international series and a bit of rustiness that was seen during the first game, wasn’t there in the next. And it seemed they have found their rhythm with Mandhana’s free-flowing batting. However, the story is different for Jemimah Rodrigues as she has lost her form it seems. She couldn’t provide a good start in both games as well and her form can be a worry for India in the opening.
Meanwhile, the pace spearhead Jhulan Goswami has been in great form. While she was the sole wicket-taker in the first ODI for India’s losing cause, she finished with 4/42 in the second. Alongside her, Mansi Joshi (2/23) too has been doing good along with spin trio – Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3/37). And on Friday, the Mithali Raj-led side would aim to carry forward the momentum with yet another clinical performance.
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“It was pretty challenging because I was coming back after a year, and playing a competitive side like South Africa. I was just trying to hit the ball on the right areas,” Jhulan Goswami had said.
On the other hand, South Africa openers Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt started where they left in their previous series against Pakistan in the 1st ODI. However, they failed to replicate that in the second. Even the captain Sune Luus too has been struggling a bit in the middle, although she scored a stable 36 in the second game.
Apart from her, it was Lara Goodall who steadied the ship alongside Luus. Their 60-run third-wicket stand had saved them in the middle, although she fell for just 1 short of a well-made fifty. Never the less, they would try to be back in the winning zone.
While their batting department failed, their bowlers, especially the pace trio – Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail and Ayabonga Khaka. Their consistent pace attack troubled India a lot in the first game and they wouldn’t bring any change to the squad for sure.
India: Mithali Raj (Captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur, D Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma, Swetha Verma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C Prathyusha, Monica Patel
South Africa: Sune Luus (Captain), Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Anneke Bosch, Faye Tunnicliffe, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune