Mercurial India Women Wary Of Australia Backlash In Search Of T20I Series Win

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A mercurial Indian Women’s team will be keen to produce another all-round show as they look to seal the three-match series against Australia in the second T20I in Navi Mumbai on Sunday. Putting behind the disappointment of a 0-3 hammering in the ODIs — marred by poor efforts in all areas — India Women came out firing on all cylinders in the first T20 to thrash Australia by a huge nine-wicket margin for the first time in history. Criticised for being sloppy in the ODIs, India were spectacularly athletic in the field on Friday, while the bowlers led by young Titas Sadhu did not allow Australia to get away at any stage in the first half of the opening T20.

Shafali Verma (64 not out) and Smriti Mandhana (54) then shared 137 runs — India’s best opening partnership against Australia in T20I history — to take them home.

It was a near-perfect night for the 19-year-old Sadhu (4/17), who set the ball rolling with three powerplay wickets, while spinners Deepti Sharma and Shreyanka Patil too claimed two wickets each to support the young pacer.

The Indian team also brought up their fielding several notches higher to save plenty of runs. The catching was good too with skipper Harmanpreet Kaur herself holding on to four chances.

Even Titas did well on one occasion to snaffle her fourth wicket when Ashleigh Gardner gave a return catch on her follow through.

“Behind every match or every good performance, there are hours of hard work that is for any given match,” Titas told the media after the match.

“I felt like our fielding effort was brilliant because a bowler can’t give her best until and unless she is supported by all the nine players inside the ground.” India’s comprehensive win on Friday night at the DY Patil Stadium has put them in pole position to push for a first-ever series win against Australia at home, for they have beaten them in an away series 2-1 in 2015-16.

But accomplishing this task would be easier said that done given India will have to show consistency and at the same time, watch out for Australia’s fightback who will be determined to celebrate legendary Ellyse Perry’s 300th international game.

“Really excited for Sunday, actually. I think it’s a great opportunity for our team to celebrate someone who has been, you know, at the forefront of our game and sort of seen the evolution of women’s cricket right around the world in Ellyse Perry,” Australia captain Alyssa Healy said.

“The opportunity to be a part of her 300th fixture, everyone’s really excited for her. She doesn’t want to talk about it. I’ve already brought it up at breakfast this (Friday) morning. She doesn’t want to talk about it. It makes her feel old.” Australia had their in-form batter Phoebe Litchfield notching up yet another significant score of 49 and teaming up with Perry again to set a platform for a 79-run fifth wicket stand.

But the visitors lost wickets in heaps on either side of the Litchfield-Perry rearguard, which they need to address.

The visitors also were not up to the mark on the field, giving away too many extras. In fact, Darcie Brown gave away 14 extras in the first over itself and Australia would look to be more disciplined with the ball.

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Shreyanka Patil, Mannat Kashyap, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Pooja Vastrakar, Kanika Ahuja, Minnu Mani.

Australia: Darcie Brown, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy (c&wk), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath (vc), Beth Mooney (wk), Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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