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Focus on Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry as India women’s cricket team gets ready for Australia

Mithali Raj’s India women’s cricket team will take on Meg Lanning’s Australia women’s cricket team in a three-match ODI series, starting on Monday.

cricket Updated: Mar 11, 2018 20:23 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Vadodara
India Women's National Cricket Team,Australia Women's National Cricket Team,Mithali Raj
Meg Lanning will hold the key to Australia women’s cricket team chances its three-match ODI series against the India women’s cricket team, starting on Monday. (AFP)

High on confidence after the triumph in South Africa, India women’s cricket team will be aiming to put up another stellar show against Australia in the three-match ODI series beginning on Monday.

The series is a part of the ICC Women’s Championship in which India had defeated South Africa in their opening match .

(Read | Indian cricket team’s ploy after tough lessons in South Africa Test series loss)

Australia boast of a formidable line-up comprising skipper Meg Lanning, all-rounders Ellyse Perry, Elyse Velani, wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy.

When the two teams last met, it was a 30-minute mayhem by Harmanpreet Kaur that turned the fortune of the women’s cricket in India by 360 degrees.

Mithali Raj is likely to be forever indebted to her deputy Harmanpreet for that knock of 171 in the World Cup semifinals.

(Read | Ajinkya Rahane, Sourav Ganguly confident of Indian cricket team doing well in England)

The women players deservingly got richer after that but Harmanpreet’s knock certainly was the catalyst -- a real ‘Gamechanger’.

“You really can’t plan during the first match of the series. They have some really good players like Perry, Lanning and Velani. We have plans for them. We need to get the momentum our way. Middle-order has been a weakness for us but we are working on it,” said vice-captain Harmanpreet on eve of the match.

(Read | Wasim Akram questions Grade A+ BCCI contracts for Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan)

She was asked about the new central contracts where the elite women players stand to earn Rs 50 lakh per annum. While there have been comparisons that even the lowest men’s group (C) is getting double, Harmanpreet seemed least bothered.

“Look it is the job of BCCI to look into these matters and we as players have the duty to play well for our country. I believe that if we play well, the riches will follow. We don’t have to ask for anything,” the newly appointed Punjab Police DSP said.

(Read | No compromise with Mohammed Shami, says wife Hasin Jahan)

Coach Tushar Arothe, who has played all his first-class cricket for Baroda, opined that the first 40-45 minutes will help the seamers.

There are a few areas on which Arothe is working with the women.

“We have to improve our fielding and also the contribution of tail-enders. If you all have seen, since I took over, I have ensured that all our tail-enders get to bat at the nets.”

Senior bowler Jhulan Goswami is out with injury and Arothe said that Shikha Pandey and Puja Vastrakar will have to shoulder more responsibility in Bengal player’s absence.

Squads:

India: Mithali Raj (captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bist, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Mona Meshram, Poonam Yadav, Sukanya Parida

Australia: Meg Lanning (captain), Alyssa Healy, Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ellyse Perry, Elyse Velani, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachel Haynes, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Megan Schutt, Beh Mooney, Belinda Vakarewa, Amanda Jade-Wellington

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 20:23 IST