Against an England side missing their regular captain, the assigned stand-in skipper and an experience bowler, a near full-strength India were comfortably second best at the end of the T20I series. The one match that India won was built on some impressive individual performances, with Smriti Mandhana once again highlighting – when she scored and didn’t – how important she is to this side.
And now, after the 2-1 series defeat against Amy Jones-led England, Harmanpreet Kaur and Co resume their ICC Women’s Championship campaign, with qualification points at stake towards the next ODI World Cup.
India will be looking to give a better account after the disappointment of the T20I series. And the presence of Jhulan Goswami will perhaps go some way in lifting the morale as well as performance. Both Harmanpreet and Mandhana in recent times have spoken about wanting to give a good farewell to Goswami. Though there is no official confirmation yet of the retirement of one of India’s greatest ever cricketers, it seems like Lord’s will be the stage for her final international match.
The 39-year-old is the only bowler to take more than 200 wickets in the ODI format – with 252 wickets from 201 matches. Harmanpreet had in fact made her international debut in the 50-over format under Goswami’s captaincy at the 2009 World Cup.
“She goes to every game with the same kind of passion which is unmatched, nobody can beat that,” said Harmanpreet before the team’s departure to England.
“When I made my debut she was the captain, it’s a great opportunity for me that I would be leading the side when she would be playing her last ODI. When I entered the team, she was the one who was leading from the front. I’ve learnt a lot from her. Nobody can fill in her shoes.”
Harmanpreet added: “She’s someone who always puts in the same kind of effort, bowling two-three hours. She still puts in the same kind of hard work she used to during her early days. I’ve never seen her make any changes to her practice regimen.
“You hardly see any bowler doing like that, or even at the nets while batting... nobody can bring that passion she has for cricket. As a cricketer and a person, I’ve learnt a lot from her. She’s a great example for all of us. There are many back home who have grown up watching her and then took up the sport.”
Since there hasn’t been an official media interaction since the T20I series, it is not yet clear what the team management has spoken about since the Bristol defeat and what are the areas they are looking to work on in the ODI leg. With points at stake, Harmanpreet and Co will want to hit the ground running. It is also not officially known if Jemimah Rodrigues, who had been named in both ODI and T20I squads, has joined the team in England. The last update was that she was in NCA, Bengaluru working on getting back to full fitness.
One of the positives from T20I series was the batting and wicketkeeping of Richa Ghosh but she is not in the ODI squad. Yastika Bhatia will be expected to keep wickets.
India won the series in Sri Lanka 3-0 to be currently on six points.
Eng vs Ind ODI series
|Sunday||18th September||3.30pm||1st ODI||1st Central County Ground, Hove|
|Wednesday||21st September||5.30pm||2nd ODI||Canterbury|
|Saturday||24th September||3.30pm||3rd ODI||Lord's|
India’s ODI squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice-Captain), Shafali Verma, Sabbineni Meghana, Deepti Sharma, Taniyaa Sapna Bhatia (WK), Yastika Bhatia (WK), Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Renuka Thakur, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Harleen Deol, Dayalan Hemalatha, Simran Dil Bahadur, Jhulan Goswami, Jemimah Rodrigues (availability unclear).
England ODI squad: Amy Jones (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Alice Davidson-Richards, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Kemp, Emma Lamb, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt
Match starts at 330 pm IST and will be broadcast on the Sony Sports Network.