You don’t see a lot of press conferences these days in sports where a question to a captain of one of the two competing teams is about the broadcast of the series they’re about to play in less than 24 hours from the said press conference.
But when it comes to women’s cricket, expect the unexpected.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur had to answer a question about the possibility of playing a series in Sri Lanka where fans back in India may not be able to watch them. Harmanpreet then had to tell the media that there was something going on in the background that could mean we’ll hear some sort of official confirmation soon. So after midnight, officially the day of the first T20I of India Standard Time, came the confirmation that the series will actually be available for streaming in India.
Many of the questions Indian team fans have are about the composition of the team itself, what goes into the decision-making, but often we are left with very little information to put these puzzles together ( like the ‘BCCI or the selectors to be able to answer your questions’ but from where?). Even on Twitter, all the buzz the day before the show – the team’s first international assignment in nearly three months – is about whether we’ll be able to watch them, when there’s so much else to watch. say. And the promotion of the series on the official social networks of the BCCI? Good luck with that.
Even in 2022, when resources are no obstacle for BCCI, the treatment of women’s football remains dismal in the subcontinent, as the women’s national cricket teams of India and Sri Lanka travel to the pitch in preparation for Birmingham 2022.
India begins to rebuild
So, as we must, we now turn our attention to the game. This series marks India’s return to true T20I cricket for the first time since the Australian tour in October 2021. (The only T20I in New Zealand does not does not count, as it was mostly played with the ODI team).
Jemimah Rodrigues’ omission from the World Cup squad made little sense at the time, was even more confusing as the tournament progressed, looked downright ridiculous as she racked up the runs in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy and looked impressive in the Women’s T20 Challenge. And yet, she only appears in the T20I leg of this tour in Sri Lanka. At this point, it smacks of outright apathy from the selectors, but for its part, assuming it gets the green light for all three T20Is, the Mumbai batter should do all they can to make the case for the inclusion on CWG teams and beyond.
“Jemimah is really an experienced player. She will definitely play a pivotal role in the T20 series,” Harmanpreet said. “I will make sure everyone has enough chances to prepare. If you look at Jemimah’s case, she always takes every opportunity that comes her way. Likewise, it’s very important to keep talking to other players and finding the right combination for big budget events like the Commonwealth Games.
Part of Jemimah’s puzzle is also the abundance of top hitters in the Indian setup. Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, S Meghana, Yastika Bhatia and Jemimah herself are all comfortable in the top two or three and the Indian think tank will have to find ways to best utilize their skills.
“We have many high level hitters, including three to four, who can play as openers. But, when it comes to this team, everyone will have the opportunity to show their skills,” Harmanpreet said when asked about the dilemma. “We all represent our country and whatever opportunity may arise at any given time, we have to make the best use of it. We have a lot of hitters who can play in any position. We will try to give everyone the space to hit where they feel comfortable.
The problem though, which has been around for some time for India, is trying to fit hitters into roles in the national team that they simply don’t know well. Square pegs, round holes and all that. And this will again be a problem for the team to find answers to.
However, Harmanpreet, in both of her media interactions, was clear that she wanted her team to play aggressive white-ball cricket with the bat and push the boat in terms of scoring rate.
The other area worth mentioning more than once is fitness and the pitch. Both areas will be worth watching in this series.
A chance for young point guards to impress?
On the bowling side, it will come as no surprise – depending on the conditions – to see India handing much of the workload to the spinners, with Harmanpreet also hinting that they use themselves as an all-around option. But the point guards who are selected will have a chance to impress in an area of obvious concern lately. Jhulan Goswami hasn’t been in the T20I scheme for a while now, and Shikha Pandey – who arguably played ball of the year in the shortest format in 2021, the last series she played – apparently in permanent disgrace, the likes of Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh and Simran Dil Bahadur have a chance here to show what they are capable of.
“In terms of the pace of bowling, you saw on the Australian tour, we introduced Renuka and Meghna, we introduced a few bowlers into the system as well. So it will take a bit of time to see the results, because they have to take into account their physical form and their match experience,” head coach Ramesh Powar said before the team left for Sri Lanka.
“Whoever bowlers are there – we carry four fast bowlers – you will see the results. Pooja Vastrakar has been an outstanding bowler for the past six months. In the future, we will try to speed up improvements to this fast bowling attack.
India’s record in Sri Lanka
|Crew||Carpet||SL wins||India win||Related||NR|
As for Sri Lanka, things haven’t been easy for the country lately and the fortunes of the women’s team haven’t been great in recent years as well. Game time has been a serious issue for them, but at Chamari Athapaththu they have a fiery leader and one of the greatest hitters of all time to lead the charge. They too will have their eyes on the Commonwealth Games after qualifying for it and may well still be uneasy with having to miss the recent ODI World Cup. Their tour of Pakistan hasn’t been the most productive, but at home they hope to offer a firmer resistance.
Indian team T20I: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), S Meghna, Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Simran Bahadur, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh , Jemimah Rodrigues, Radha Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (C), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Madavi, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Sathya Sandeepani, Anushka Sanjeewani, Malsha Shehani, Tharika Sewwandi.
The India Tour in Sri Lanka
|1||Thursday||June 23||1st T20I||Dambulla|
|2||Saturday||June 25||2nd T20I||Dambulla|
|3||Monday||June 27||3rd T20I||Dambulla|
|4||Friday||July, 1st||1st ODI||Kandy|
|5||Monday||4th July||2nd ODI||Kandy|
|6||Thursday||July 7||3rd ODI||Kandy|