The Indian women’s cricket team will take on the arch-rivals Pakistan in the first match of the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup on Sunday at the Newlands in Cape Town. India suffered a big jolt on the eve of the match as coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar said India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana will most likely miss the match due to injury. The Harmanpreet Kaur led-side lost to Australia in a warm-up match of the tournament by 44 runs but ended up winning against Bangladesh in the next match by 52 runs. On the other hand, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by six wickets but lost against South Africa. It will be an interesting clash as both sides will be putting their best foot forward in order to get a winning start in the prestigious tournament.
Here’s our predicted India Women’s playing XI for the match against Pakistan Women:
Yastika Bhatia: The 22-year-old batter failed to register a good score against Australia and Bangladesh in the warm-up matches as she fell for 7 and 10 runs. She will look to redeem herself in the opening match against Pakistan.
Shafali Verma: The U-19 Women’s team skipper will be high on confidence after Team India’s triumph in the maiden U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup. However, the power-hitter, who has an impeccable record in the shortest format, could not get a big knock in the warm-up matches.
Jemimah Rodrigues: After getting out for a duck against Australia in the first warm-up match, Rodrigues made a massive comeback against Bangladesh and smashed 41 off 27 balls. She will be eyeing another big innings against Pakistan in Team India’s opening match.
Harleen Deol: The 24-year-old all-rounder took India to a respectable total of 109/4 in a Tri-Series final against South Africa, with her knock of 46 off 56 balls. However, she failed in the warm-up match against Bangladesh and scored only 10 runs.
Harmanpreet Kaur: The India skipper had a decent outing in the recently concluded Tri-Series against South Africa and West Indies. She will look to fetch a good score against Pakistan in order to get a winning start.
Pooja Vastrakar: The 23-year-old all-rounder scalped two wickets against West Indies in the Tri-series. Later, she went on to take two wickets against Australia in the warm-up match.
Deepti Sharma: The 25-year-old all-rounder scored 19* off 22 balls against Australia in the warm-up match but went wicketless with the ball. In the match against Bangladesh, she captained the Indian side in the absence of Harmanpreet Kaur, where she also scaled one wicket.
Richa Ghosh: The 19-year-old batter, who has scored 427 runs off 30 matches in the T20I format, is known for her powerful hitting. Ghosh will eye big knock against Pakistan in the first match.
Renuka Singh: Renuka went wicketless against West Indies in the Tri-Series but was among wickets against South Africa. The 27-year-old pacer has got 24 wickets in 27 T20I matches so far.
Radha Yadav: The left-arm spinner scalped two wickets against Australia and conceded only 22 runs in three overs. She went on to register the figures of 17/1 in 3 overs against Bangladesh.
Shikha Pandey: The veteran pacer was the pick among the bowlers against Australia where she scalped two wickets and leaked only nine runs in three overs. She will look to have another good outing with the ball against Pakistan.
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