IND-W vs ENG-W: Kiran Navgire set for debut as India look to address finishing woes in T20Is vs England

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IND-W vs ENG-W: Kiran Navgire set for debut as India look to address finishing woes in T20Is vs England
IND-W vs ENG-W: Kiran Navgire set for debut as India look to address finishing woes in T20Is vs England

IND-W vs ENG-W: Kiran Navgire set for debut as India look to address finishing woes in T20Is vs England

IND-W vs ENG-W: When the Indian women’s team plays England in the first of three T20 Internationals on Friday, attention will be on their struggles with finishing woes.

After India’s defeat by Australia in the Commonwealth Games final, Yastika Bhatia, the team’s second wicketkeeper, was dropped in favour of the uncapped power-hitters Dayalan Hemalatha and Kiran Prabhu Navgire.

With her record-breaking 162 not out against Arunachal Pradesh in the Senior T20 Trophy earlier this year, Maharashtra batter and Nagaland player Navgire gained attention and was subsequently added to the Velocity squad for the T20 Challenge.

It is unclear if Navgire will be selected ahead of her older senior Hemalatha, who is making a comeback after two years and is a member of both the T20 and ODI squads. Navgire demonstrated her power-hitting prowess by blasting the quickest fifty in the T20 Challenge in May.

After the three T20Is, there will be three ODIs, which will be legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami’s final series.

“In the Commonwealth Games, we did well but still there is scope for improvement,” skipper Harmanpreet Kaur said.

India are set to go in with six batters.

“I feel no matter whatever format you are playing, you need to have six batters in the side,” Harmanpreet said.

“Having two-three pure bowlers and two-three all-rounders can give you a great balance.

“We have a couple of new players to fill those areas we lacked in, like in the slog overs, when you need 10 runs or more per over.

“Before the World Cup if they can get equal chances, then you have a fair idea to select the team. We will definitely try some new things and at the same time give equal opportunities so we can make a good team,” she added.

This will be an opportunity for England to atone for leaving the CWG empty-handed. The play-off for the bronze medal featured England versus New Zealand.

With Heather Knight, the normal captain, recuperating from hip surgery, the hosts will have their work cut out for them.

Nat Sciver named skipper in Knight’s absence. However she has also resigned, citing “mental weariness.” For the series, Katherine Brunt “rested.”

In Sciver’s absence, wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones will captain the team. And it will be up to the England’s young players to create an impression.

“We’re really motivated… It’s a really exciting series that will present lots of challenges along the way. As a group, we’re quite excited to get into it. And have to adapt and also overcome those challenges,” talented 18-year-old all-rounder Alce Capsey said.

Seamer Lauren Bell is scheduled to play in her first T20I match. After making her Test and ODI debuts earlier this year. She will be joining the youthful seam pair of Freya Kemp and Issy Wong. They will also face the difficult job of stopping the Indian power-hitters.

SQUADS

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sneh Rana, Renuka Singh, Meghna Singh, Radha Yadav, S Meghana, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Dayalan Hemalatha, Simran Dil Bahadur, Richa Ghosh (wk) and Kiran Prabhu Navgire.

England: Amy Jones (capt and wk) Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Freya Kemp, Bryony Smith, Issy Wong and Danni Wyatt.

Match starts: 11.30pm IST.