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Indian women battle to stay in series

The Indian women’s cricket team desperately needs its top order to strike form and its bowlers to show some spark against an in-form Australia in the second One-Day International here on Friday. Australia won the opening match of the three-ODI series by nine wickets.

Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana have the ability to take on the rival attack and they need to ensure that Ellyse Perry and Darcie Brown do not dominate them the way they did in the series-opener.

The pace duo set the tone for the hosts in the warm-up game in Brisbane as well as in the first ODI here on Monday by cleaning up the Indian top-order as Australia recorded its 25th straight triumph in the format, a world-record winning streak.

The middle-order, led by skipper Mithali Raj, also has to show more intent. Flamboyant vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who missed the opening game due to a thumb injury, is still unavailable and in her absence the team needs Deepti Sharma to step up.

Batting coach Shiv Sunder Das confirmed that Harmanpreet had not yet recovered.

“Right now she (Harmanpreet) is not fit. She’s not available for the next game, that’s the current status,” the coach said at the pre-match press conference.

The 21-year-old southpaw Yastika Bhatia gave a good account of herself on debut and the confidence of having scored against a world-class attack should help her continue in the same vein.

The Indian bowlers, led by veteran Jhulan Goswami, need to make early inroads.

Another defeat on Friday would mean a third straight series loss for India.

The teams (from): India: Mithali Raj (Capt.), Harmanpreet Kaur (Vice-Capt.), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, Yastika Bhatia, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Shikha Pandey, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Richa Ghosh and Ekta Bisht.

Australia: Meg Lanning (Capt.), Rachael Haynes (Vice-Capt.), Darcie Brown, Maitlan Brown, Stella Campbell, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck and Georgia Wareham.

Match starts at 10.40 a.m. (IST).

Crime Today News | Sports


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