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Women's Cricket

Focus on openers as Indian women look to seal ODI series against Sri Lanka

The Indian women's cricket team would look for some stability from its top-order as they aim to seal the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Indian women

Indian women's cricketer Shafali Verma (Source: Indian express)



Updated: 3 July 2022 8:40 AM GMT

The Indian women's cricket team would look for some stability from its top-order, especially openers, as the visitors aim to seal the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in the second game on Monday.

After clinching the preceding T20 series 2-1, India have taken a 1-0 lead in the ODI series by winning the low-scoring first match by four wickets with 72 balls to spare.

Despite the comfortable win, the Indian think tank would be a little concerned about the opening pair of vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and young Shafali Verma.

Both the batters have got a few runs but have not been able to translate them into big scores. The duo has failed to build a decent partnership in the tour so far, denying the team from electrifying starts which it is known for. And both Mandhana and Verma would be gunning for a big score with just two matches remaining in the tour.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, on the other hand, seems to be relishing her role, scoring runs and providing breakthroughs with her part-time off-spin.

The Indian bowlers, especially the slower ones, are simply enjoying the low and slow Sri Lankan tracks and have played a crucial role in the team's victories on the tour Right-arm medium pacer Renuka Singh excelled with figures of 3 for 29, however, it was Deepti Sharma's (3/25) off-breaks that broke Sri Lanka's backbone and restricted the hosts to 171 all out in the first ODI.

While the Indian bowlers have excelled on the tour, the batters have been plagued by inconsistencies. Verma, once again, squandered a promising start as the top order crumbled while chasing a modest total in the opening ODI.

The middle order comprising the likes of Harmanpreet, Harleen Deol, Deepti, who showed her all-round capabilities and Pooja Vastrakar bailed India out in the opener.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, would hope skipper Chamari Athapaththu can inspire the side with the bat after a relative poor show so far. The likes of opener Hasini Perera, Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva have batted well but need to stitch partnerships.

On the bowling front, left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera has shone bright but will need more support from her colleagues.

Sri Lanka lost the ODI series against Pakistan last month and would look to avoid a second consecutive series loss in the format.

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), S Meghana, Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Simran Bahadur, Richa Ghosh (wk), Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol

Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (c), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulasuriya, Sugandika Kumari, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe Inoka Ranaweera, Sathya Sandeepani, Anushka Sanjeewani, Malsha Shehani,Tharika Sewwandi

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