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The Indian women have started their T20 series against Sri Lanka with a confident victory and are going to be difficult to stop from here on in. They have just lost ODI in the entire tour so far and with four more T20 internationals to look forward to, they would be very keen to keep their foot on Sri Lanka’s throat.
The Sri Lankan women don’t favor T20 cricket as their preferred format. We get the feeling they are most comfortable playing ODI cricket, however, their performance in the first match was not all that bad. They ran India closer than they have done in the past and must believe that an upset is not far away.
There were a couple of instances in the last match when Sri Lanka had India staggering. The first was when Smriti Mandhana fell for a first ball duck and the other was when Mendis gave the team a blistering start.
Unfortunately for the home team, on both occasions, they were unable to press home the advantage. There is a lack of experience in constructing a T20 inning which was clearly visible. There is a lot more time in T20 cricket than it might initially appear and that is exactly what the Sri Lankan women need to understand.
Going into the second T20, the team would once again be hoping for a quick start from Mendis and Jayangani. Both of the women are among the best batters of the side and need to carry on for a majority of the inning.
Kaushalya played a good inning of 45 in the last match but did not have much support in the middle order. Players like Vandort and Perera need to start performing better to be able to give a real fight to the Indians.
The Sri Lankan batting still look dependent on individual brilliance which can be sporadic rather than the more dependable team effort.
The bowling effort from the Sri Lankan was pretty decent. Prabodhani, Jayangani, and Siriwardene all bowled well. They picked up crucial wickets and kept the runs down as well. These will be the three that we think will perform well in the upcoming match as well.
Yasoda Mendis, Chamari Atapattu, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Ama Kanchana, Udeshika Prabodhani, Sugandika Kumari, Shashikala Siriwardene, Nilakshi de Silva, Dilani Manodara, Sripali Weerakkody, Kavisha Dilhari.
India was tested a lot more than it would have liked and the players would know they could have easily lost that first match. That being said, India did manage to showcase its depth by fighting back from difficult situations.
India’s best two batters, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, did not score a single run in the first match, yet the team was able to get a good total on the board. Mithali Raj, Rodrigues, Bhatia, Patil, and Krishnamurthy all played good hands to help India get into a decent position.
This depth in batting is something that Sri Lanka does not have and will count heavily in favor of India moving forward. If anything, we expect India’s batters to gain more confidence and get bigger scores moving forward.
Mandhana and Kaur are world-class players with experience of playing T20 cricket around the world. It is just a matter of time before they come good in this series.
India’s bowling suffered a bit of setback in the last match too as the Sri Lankan openers came very hard at them. It was eventually the spinners that put the break on the run scoring as pace off the ball was very difficult to get away.
Poonam Yadav starred with four wickets to her name while Radha Yadav and Harmanpreet Kaur took two wickets each as well. India will want to work on the plans of their opening bowlers because they seemed bewildered when Mendis came at them swinging.
Sri Lanka has some dangerous batters and India would do well to be aware of that. A few early wickets, though, and India’s bowlers will know that they can make the job very easy for their side.
Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniya Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur, Anuja Patil, Veda Krishnamurthy, Deepti Sharma, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A lot of rain has been forecast for Colombo on match day. A lot. There is a very good chance that we may not see any cricket played at all. Considering this is the first of three matches scheduled in Colombo, the outlook for the series does not seem too bright either. If we do get some play, though, expect a flat batting pitch with nothing in it for the bowlers.
If a match is played out then we think India should win easily. They have won the last five T20 matches against Sri Lanka and have better resources in all aspects of the game.
Back India to win.