Ind vs Aus: Mandhana, who is the star batter in the side, was recently also picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore as the captain for the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League.
Cape Town: If regular captain Harmanpreet Kaur does not recover in time for the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final versus Australia on Thursday, Smriti Mandhana would lead the side. A report in The Indian Express states that there will be a check to see if Harmanpreet can play or not hours ahead of the game in Newlands, Cape Town. Mandhana, who is the star batter in the side, was recently also picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore as the captain for the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League.
Sneh Rana is to be drafted in with immediate effect. Harmanpreet is still not completely ruled out.
Harman and Vastrakar are two key players in the Indian set up and hence their availability against a dominant team like Australia was important.
Australia, also the defending champions, head into the semi-finals as firm favourites, especially with a 3-2 upper hand over India in Women’s T20 World Cup matches. Moreover, Australia got the better of India in the 2020 T20 World Cup final and Commonwealth Games gold medal match last year.
Australia had also won a five-game T20I series in India 4-1, apart from a warm-up match victory earlier in the month. But they will be wary of India’s giant-killing instinct, a glimpse of which was seen when they secured a thrilling super-over victory in the second game of the series in front of 47,000 spectators at the DY Patil Stadium last year. Also, India is the only side to whom Australia have lost twice since 2021.
IND-W vs AUS-W Probable Playing XIs
India Women: Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Harleen Deol, Renuka Thakur
Australia Women: Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Tahlia McGrath, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown