India women need to be wary of South Africa women in 1st T20I
Surat: India women can't afford to take South Africa women lightly despite their recent domination over the visitors in twenty20 internationals when the two sides face off in the first game of the five-match T20I series here on Tuesday.
In the last five matches between the two sides, India women won three while lost one with the other game ending in no result.
Playing on familiar home conditions, India women would definitely have an edge over the visitors in the upcoming series but they can't take things for granted as South Africa women have proved how dangerous they can be in the second warm-up game played here on Sunday.
After the first warm-up game was washed out, South Africa women crushed Board President's XI by 83 runs in a lop-sided affair to make their intentions clear. The visitors had put on a challenging 174 for five after opting to bat on Sunday and then bundled out BPXI for meagre 91 to kick off their tour on a positive note.
Come Tuesday, the Proteas would be brimming with confidence. They would be depending on opener Lizelle Lee, who scored a quick 65 in the second warm-up game, and Mignon du Preez to take the responsibility of their batting department in the company of skipper Sune Luus.
Harmanpreet Kaur-led India women, on the other hand, would heavily rely on opener Smriti Mandhana for a good start, while Veda Krishnamurthy, the skipper herself and Jemimah Rodrigues too would need to be at their best to help India dish out a fine batting effort in the absence of a reliable Mithali Raj, who retired from T20 cricket recently.
India's bowling attack will be led by pacer Shikha Pandey and fast bowling colleague Pooja Vastrakar. The spin department will be spearheaded by leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who bagged the Arjuna award this year, while the likes of Anuja Patil, all-rounder Deepti Sharma and Anuja Patil will also shoulder the responsibility.