India face stiff challenge against mighty Australia in T20Is

India have come close against Australia but failed to closed the deal in recent times

Tanveer Singh Kapoor
New Update
Healy - Harman

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India will be looking to make amends for their underwhelming display in the ODIs against Australia when they face the visitors for a three-match T20I series. Australia swept the women in blue in a highly convincing manner after a defeat in a one-off Test to win the ODI series 3-0 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The T20Is will kick off at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Friday (January 5).

Australia’s dominance over India in the 20-over format is pretty evident. Both the nations have faced each other in 31 T20I games and the Aussies have emerged victorious 23 times. India’s six wins against the side led by Alyssa Healy makes them the underdogs for this series on paper. Last time, India did manage to tie one game at the same ground and win it in the Super Over with Smriti Mandhana and Richa Ghosh playing the leading roles.

It will prove to be difficult to recover from the whitewash Australia handed India in the ODI series. Amol Muzumdar would definitely want his side to work on their fielding, as he witnessed several catches being dropped and chances going begging throughout the second and the third ODI. “The staff is trying its level best. It is difficult to get the best results and develop consistency within a month but we are working on our fielding and fitness,” captain Harmanpreet Kaur spoke about India’s fielding woes. “The good thing is that we are facing the best teams (Australia and England) which gives us the chance to test ourselves and figure out where to improve."

India would also want to make up for their T20I series defeat against England in December. Harmanpreet will be looking to instill some spark into her team and expecting a better performance from her side.


Matches played: 31 India: 6 Australia: 23 Tied: 1 No result: 1

What’s at stake?

Team India suffered a heartbreaking setback the last time it faced Australia in a T20I game. It was the semifinal of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa which the Aussies won by a close margin of five runs. Meg Lanning’s side went on to beat the hosts in the finals to lift the trophy. This would give the Indians all the more reason to have that extra motivation besides their recent thumping in the ODI series.

Despite dominating India consistently, Aussies have faced some tough competition lately from the women in blue. There have been a lot of games between both the nations which have gone down to the wire. Leg-spinner Georgia Wareham complimented India for the fighting spirit the team has shown. “I think every time we’ve come up against India in the World Cup, we’ve been put under a lot of pressure, and the way they play their game is really exciting,” she said.

Players to watch

Jemimah Rodrigues

Jemimah Rodrigues has managed to pick up where she left off after her stellar campaign with Mumbai in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy back in November last year. Already in a good shape, she scored a half-century in her Test debut against England followed by another impressive 73-run knock in a one-off Test against the Aussies.

Rodrigues also played a significant role in the recently concluded ODI series, scoring 82 runs in the opening fixture, and 44 runs and 25 runs in the second and third ODI respectively. Rodrigues has been India’s most in-form batter off late.

Shreyanka Patil

Shreyanka Patil has been in terrific form for India since making her international debut against England in December 2023. She impressed everyone in the final T20I in the England series to walk away with the player of the match award and she also made a mark in the Australia ODIs.

Clinching four wickets in two games, the off-spinner is having the time of her life and is just one step away from cementing her place permanently in the Indian senior squad. She will be looking forward to the three upcoming games to keep up her electric form.

Phoebe Litchfield

Phoebe Litchfield won the Player of the Series award for her consistent displays in the ODI series, scoring a century and two half-centuries and adding 260 runs to her tally. Despite typically being an opening batter, Litchfield has been deployed as a middle order batter in T20I cricket.

That doesn’t stop her from pulling the strings, though. She has posed as a threat with the bat in the death overs, especially in Australia’s recent T20I series against the West Indies. She has a lightning strike rate of 220 in three T20I innings. It will be interesting to see a different aspect of Litchfield’s game this time as well.

Annabel Sutherland

Annabel Sutherland has been in terrific form lately. She ended the 2023 WBBL season on a positive note with 23 wickets to her name in 14 appearances. She also picked up two wickets in India’s first innings in the one-off Test. The ODI series is where she regained her WBBL form to clinch six wickets in three matches, including the Player of the Match award in the second ODI. Her current form definitely makes her a danger to India’s batting lineup.

Predicted XI

India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (c ), Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma, Shreyanka Patil, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur

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