India Women's Cricket at 2023 Asian Games: Full Team, Schedule, Medal Chances
Can the Indian women's cricket team justify their tags as Asian favourites with one of the first gold medals at the 2023 Asian Games?
The Indian women's cricket team, who begin their 2023 Asian Games campaign on Thursday, are favourites to win the gold medal, but there are two possible obstacles in their way - their recent form against their Asian neighbors and the absence of Harmanpreet Kaur for a possible semifinal clash against Bangladesh.
Ranked 4th in ICC Women's T20I Team Rankings and 1st in Asia, India's main threats would be the absence of their captain against Bangladesh and a possible face-off against Pakistan or Sri Lanka in the gold medal match.
The medal matches, scheduled for Monday, September 25, would make the women's team one of the first Indian medallists in the 2023 Asian Games.
Pakistan (7th), Sri Lanka (8th), and Bangladesh (9th) are behind India in rankings, but India has lost matches against all three opponents over the last year. Most notably, in the recent series against Bangladesh, India could only draw a 3-match series 1-1.
Harmanpreet Kaur is out of the first two matches due to a code of conduct breach at the end of the Bangladesh series and will be back for the medal match. Smriti Mandhana is likely to lead India in her absence.
Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice Captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Devika Vaidya, Pooja Vastrakar, Titas Sadhu, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Minnu Mani, Kanika Ahuja, Uma Chetry (wk), Anusha Bareddy
Indian women's cricket team schedule at the Asian Games
India will face one of four teams between Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong/Mongolia on Thursday morning. They will then possibly face Bangladesh in the semifinal.
IND vs Malaysia - Quarterfinal - 21 September, 06:30 am IST
IND vs TBD - Semi Final - 24 September 2023, 09:30 am IST
Medal Matches - 25 September 2023, 14:30 am IST
India at Asian Games 2023: Medal Chances
With the presence of the experienced Kaur and Mandhana, all-rounder Deepti Sharma, and the return of wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh and Rajeshwari Gayakwad, the Indian team are favourites to win a gold medal. Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Harleen Doel, and Radha Yadav are some of the notable exclusions from the squad.
When it comes to records in major tournaments, since 2018, India has never returned without a medal in the ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup, something that has remained beyond the reach of any other Asian nation.
India has also been the champion in almost all the editions of the ACC Women's Asia Cup except in 2018, which edition had been won by Bangladesh.
Women’s Cricket in the Asian Games: Records
Women’s cricket made its debut in the Asian Games in 2010 when the Chinese hosted the Games last. Pakistan won the gold medal by defeating Bangladesh by 10 wickets. Japan won the bronze medal. In 2014, Pakistan again won by defeating Bangladesh and Sri Lanka stood at 3rd place. India will be looking to jump to the top of the podium at their first appearance itself.