India-SA Third T20I: Hosts under pressure to share honours

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | July 08, 2024 IST

India women team

Chennai, July 8: In the ongoing multi-format cricket series at home,  Indian women's team is under pressure to share honours.

 The home side led by Harmanpreet Kaur face a challenge of squaring the three-match T20I series, with the final match scheduled for Tuesday.

India women team did dominate and won the three ODIs and the solitary Test in Chennai as well. They appeared too good for the visitors. But a shocking defeat despite best of efforts, in the first T20 International put Harmanpreet & Co in the back-foot.

On Sunday in the rain delayed match at MA Chidambaram Stadium, here though the Proteas scored 177/6 in the allotted 20 overs, but the match was abandoned due to downpour. India did not get a single ball to bat.

Two days earlier at the same venue, India lost the first T20I to South Africa by 12 runs. As the Proteas lead the three-match series 1-0. The home side face the daunting task of squaring the series in the final game.

 With the second T20I abandoned, South Africa will not lose the series, but the onus in on Indian team to square the series and share honours. 

India do have a few problems in hand as strike pace bowler Renuka Singh Thakur seemed to be out of rhythm in the first T20I. Her replacement in the second T20I, young Arundhati Reddy was inconsistent and expensive as well. 

Indian team also appear to be bit confused while picking a leg-spinner. Despite being not much experienced leggie Asha Sobhana, is a match winner on her day. But Indian team management has not regularly included her in the playing XI.

Off-spinners Shreyanka Patil and Sneh Rana too have not been impressive. Rana was exceptional in the solitary Test. But the same can't be guaranteed about her white-ball games.

Experienced left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad has been patchy too. That leaves the onus on all-rounder Deepti Sharma to restrict as well as grab wickets regularly as a spinner.

Besides, in the first T20I, a key player of the present setup keeper-batter Richa Ghosh, which has put the Indian side under more stress.

 Her replacement Uma Chetry, is definitely a work in progress. But can she handle pressure in tough situations like Richa, is a big question.  

With Asia Cup nearing and India scheduled to play arch rivals Pakistan on July 19 in Sri Lanka, its time Head Coach Amol Mumzumdar and team management  must address the chinks in the armoury.

Because after the final T20I against South Africa, India will head to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup and then get ready for the upcoming ICC  T20 World Cup as well.

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