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HomesportscricketIndia Women bank on spin trap against Australia to register maiden Test...

India Women bank on spin trap against Australia to register maiden Test win

Mumbai: After dismantling England, India Women will be eager to tick another bold point in their bucket list heading into the one-off Test against a formidable Australia here from Thursday, a maiden win in the traditional format.

India have never beaten Australia in any of their 10 Tests spanning over 46 years, home or away, as the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side would know that there could be no better opportunity to achieve that considering that they are playing on a pitch that is expected to favour the spinners.

The Indian bowlers, especially offie Deepti Sharma, showed remarkable ruthlessness against England while scoring a mammoth 347-run win at the DY Patil Stadium last week, biggest in terms of runs in women’s Test history, and they would like to reproduce that burning streak against the Aussies too.

But India’s bowling has more sharp edges to it than Deepti.

Renuka Singh Thakur is building a reputation of making early inroads with the new ball since her return from injury and fellow-pacer Pooja Vastrakar also warmed-up with a three-wicket burst against England.

India’s batting also looks to be in safe hands with Harmanpreet Kaur (49 and 44 not out), Jemimah Rodrigues (68) and Yastika Bhatia (66) making good impact against England.

However, India would want opener Smriti Mandhana to join the party with a big knock here at the Wankhede Stadium against the Aussies.

But India could be without left-handed Shubha Satheesh, who suffered a dislocation and hairline fracture after a scintillating debut fifty against England.

Priya Punia has joined the Indian squad as a cover but Harleen Deol, who had an extended nets on Tuesday, could get the nod.

Back to playing Test cricket in India after a gap of almost 40 years, Australia have indeed ventured in to the unknown and the task looks uphill for the newly-appointed skipper Alyssa Healy and her side.

Incidentally, it was here at the Wankhede that India and Australia had played their last women’s Test on these shores in February 1984.

The last Test between India and Australia was played two years ago at Carrara, in which Smriti Mandhana’s first-innings 127 helped Women in Blue to secure a draw.

Healy has taken the mantle of Australian leadership from Meg Lanning and playing a Test against India in their backyard would be a massive test for at the beginning of her tenure.

But Australia’s think-tank has a problem of plenty given the quality of all-rounders in their side which includes the experienced Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath.

Australia will look to lean on their white-ball experience in India which also includes stints in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) earlier this year for some of them.

But playing red-ball cricket on slow turners can be too hot a job to handle for any visiting side.

Squads:

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar.

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

Match starts at 9:30am IST.

(Published 20 December 2023, 08:59 IST)

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