India and Australia have faced each other 15 times so far, where Australia came out to be victorious 11 times. Their last encounter was in the 2018 World T-20 where India rode on Smriti Mandhan’s 83 and Harmanpreet Kaur‘s quickfire 43 defeated the mighty Aussie by 48 runs.
But both the teams have undergone changes after that. India will miss Anuja Patil who has picked up 3 wickets in that match and Australia will miss their trusted batter Elyse Villani, both of whom were left out from this series and the World Cup as well.
In this series, while India have beaten the English side, Australia has lost their match by a whisker. But one thing that needs to be remembered is that both the team have conceded an ample amount of run in their last 10 overs. While India gave away 88 runs, Australia leaked 115 runs in their last over which turn out to be costly in the essence of the match.
While batting is concerned, India will be dependent upon its top four batters and seek necessary support from the others. Harmanpreet played a responsible innings in the last match but others need to rose to the occasion. Shafali Verma needs to play her natural innings while Smriti Mandhana who has scored218 run at ana average of 43 against Australia with a strike rate of 132 will be the key for Indian innings.
She needs to play at least 12 overs as prescribed by Indian Coach W.V. Raman. Another player who has good records against Australia is Harmanpreet Kaur and she needs to be careful in her approach. Nowadays Kaur comes to bat at no. 4, leaving a void down the order to finish the match. If Kaur gets out early in the innings India has none to either consolidate or to play the role of a finisher in their batting line up.
Veda Krishnamurthy who has shown signs of good touch for India A also crucial for this inexperienced Indian side. Looking at the number of left-hand batters (3), Deepti’s off-spin bowling could play a handy role once again. There is a concern regarding the injury of both Richa Ghosh and Pooja Vastrakar. If Pooja Vastrakar plays she is going to play a crucial role with bat and ball.
At the same time, India needs to find a place for Poonam Yadav. This leggie is India’s highest wicket-taker in the last couple of years. So if Pooja is unable to find a place in the playing XI, it would be useful to include Yadav to strengthen the spin department.
Australian batting will look forward to a great start from Mooney who has scored a brilliant 65 in her first match and Healy. Meg Lanning, Rachael Haynes and Ellyse Perry can be destructive on their days. However Australian management can opt for Erin Burns in the middle who was in good form in recently concluded Australia A series that played against India A.
With Kimmince and Sutherland down the order, who almost pulled of a victory from the jaws of defeat, Australians have the luxury to include more spin in the lineup. In both the matches it was evident that spinners are going to play a huge role to win the matches. Australian seam bowling will again look to the partnership of Perry and Megan Schutt. Though Perry was economical in her 4 over who has conceded only 9 runs while Schutt went for more than 40. Spinners including Gardener will look forward to choking run in middle overs and pick up a crucial wicket.
India Probable XI
Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Tania Bhatia, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakawad, Radha Yadav
Australia Probable XI
Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Erin Burns, Rachael Haynes, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Megan Schutt