Ind vs Aus Test: Confident India ready to take on Australia

India are high on the confidence of beating England by a mammoth margin of 347 runs

Mrinalini Majumdar
New Update
Deepti Sharma

India beat England by 347 runs © Getty

Despite losing the T20I series, India showed their credentials in the long format when they beat England in the one-off Test at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. The famous win - their first at home against England in the format - came with a whopping margin of 347 runs thanks to an all-round effort from the side. Australians are already here and India will be hosting them for another potentially exciting Test match at Wankhede in Mumbai from Thursday (December 21).

Australia are in India for a Women’s Test for the first time since 1984 and speaking of the records, the hosts are yet to beat them in the format with four losses and six draws in the ten matches played between them so far. So, India will have another chance to create new history coming into the match with some red ball cricket form.

Although India’s effort in Navi Mumbai was headlined by Deepti Sharma, there were a lot of performers throughout the game. Harmanpreet Kaur brought her experience, while debutants Jemimah Rodrigues and Shubha Satheesh also did exceptionally well alongside young wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia.

When it comes to the limited over format, there is no dispute over Australia’s greatness but with Test matches being far and few between, it’s difficult to make an assessment. Both sides are coming into the match with a Test win over England. The Ashes Test saw a closely contested match even though Australia eventually ran away with the game with Ashleigh Gardner’s 12-wicket match haul being the biggest highlight. 

Australia last toured India in December 2022 and won the five-match T20I series 4-1 before winning yet another T20 World Cup title in South Africa in March this year. The semi-final encounter saw India lose a close match against the eventual world champions.

What did they say?

“I think the biggest key about batting in India is, you've got to be A. really clear on the plan before you go out there. You gotta know how you're gonna play the conditions and, and B. you gotta stick to your strengths individually as a batter” - Tahlia McGrath.

She is improving vehemently. I mean, she's come from a couple of injuries, and she's worked extremely hard to not only develop her fitness but also to develop her skills and I think you're starting to see some rewards now of all that hard work. I really like the way that she's putting together her sequence of deliveries and the number of deliveries she's got an option.” - Troy Cooley on Renuka Singh Thakur.

What’s at stake?

It’s difficult to guess what’s at stake in a stand alone Test matches. Both teams would like to start the series on a great note before the ODIs and T20Is. India would love to continue their Test match form and register their first win against Australia in the format. On the other hand, Australia would love to show the world that they are the masters of the longer format as well.

Players to watch out for – India:

Deepti Sharma

In the mammoth win against England, Deepti Sharma was the star of the show with her all-round efforts which saw her pick up nine wickets in the match after scoring a fifty. The southpaw scored 67 in the first innings before picking up her maiden Test fifer in England’s first dig inside six overs.Deepti continued to torment the visitors in the second innings as she removed four batters this time.

Deepti’s all-round ability earned her ‘India’s Ben Stokes’ tag from head coach Amol Muzumdar. Australia will be vary of the threat she poses with her off spin.

Players to watch out for – Australia:

Beth Mooney

Beth Mooney is a key player for Australia regardless of which format they are playing in.The left-hander is one of the most consistent batters in the world and will bring that solidity at the top with Alyssa Healy expected to bat down the order.

In the Ashes Test, Mooney played a valuable 85-run knock in the second innings and she has continued her form into the Australian domestic season. Once again, Mooney dominated the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) when she finished the ninth edition as the leading run-getter of the tournament with 557 runs to her name.

Alongside young Phoebe Litchfield, Mooney could be the solution at the top order to the threat of Renuka’s opening burst.

Predicted XI:

India have called up Priya Punia as a back-up to the injured Shubha and it remains to be seen who will replace the southpaw if she is not available.

India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanrpeet Kaur (c), Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh Thakur

Australia are pondering whether to go with a four-pronged spin attack or give the left-arm pace of Lauren Cheatle a go.

Australia: Beth Mooney, Phoebe Litchfield, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Jess Jonassen, Alyssa Healy (c), Annabel Sutherland, Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Wareham, Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle