One-off Test: Confident India take on formidable Australia | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: In the one-off Test against a strong Australia in Mumbai starting on Thursday, the Indian women will be keen to cross off another audacious goal on their bucket list—a first-ever victory in the conventional format—after demolishing England.
India, who have never defeated Australia in any of their ten Test matches spanning more than 46 years, would know that this is their best chance to do so given that they are playing on a field that is predicted to suit the spinners.
The Indian bowlers, particularly off-spinner Deepti Sharma, displayed incredible brutality last week against England as they won by the largest margin of runs in women’s Test history (347 runs) at the DY Patil Stadium. They hope to continue that fiery streak against the Australians as well.

However, India’s bowling is more cutting edge-oriented than Deepti’s.
Since her injury return, Renuka Singh Thakur has established a reputation for being a force with the new ball, and fellow bowler Pooja Vastrakar warmed up against England by taking three wickets in a row.
With Harmanpreet Kaur (49 and 44 not out), Jemimah Rodrigues (68), and Yastika Bhatia (66) making significant contributions against England, India’s batting also appears to be in excellent hands.
But, India would like Smriti Mandhana, who is the opener, to join the celebration by giving the Australians a serious blowout here at the Wankhede Stadium.
However, Shubha Satheesh, a left-handed batsman who made a brilliant debut fifty against England, may be sidelined for some time due to a dislocation and a hairline fracture.
Harleen Deol, who had an extended net on Tuesday, may be chosen over Priya Punia, who has joined the Indian team as a cover.
Australia has stepped into the unknown by returning to play Test cricket in India after a nearly 40-year hiatus, and the job before of the newly chosen captain Alyssa Healy and her team is daunting.
In February 1984, India and Australia had played their final women’s Test match on these grounds at the Wankhede.
Two years ago, in Carrara, India and Australia played their most recent Test match. Smriti Mandhana’s opening-inning 127 guided Women in Blue to a draw.
Playing a Test match against India in their backyard at the start of Healy’s leadership would be a major test for the Australian captain, who succeeded Meg Lanning.
With the caliber of all-rounders on their team, including the seasoned Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, and Tahlia McGrath, Australia’s thought tank is faced with numerous challenges.
Australia will rely on their white-ball experience in India, which includes several of them participating in the first-ever Women’s Premier League (WPL) earlier this year.
On the other hand, slow turners can make red-ball cricket too hot a chore for any visiting team to manage.
Squads:
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar
Australia: Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Alyssa Healy (C & WK), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney (wk), Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham
(With PTI inputs)

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