Vadodara: India will hope for a turn-around in fortunes with the return of skipper Mithali Raj when they take on Australia in the must-win second game of the three-match rubber, which is part of the ICC womens ODI Championship.
Mithali sat out of the opening One-day International (ODI) on Monday with a bout of fever as she watched from the sidelines when the hosts succumbed to an eight-wicket loss against the Southern Stars. The Indian batters will have to do a lot better than what they managed against the Australian spinners on Monday, who shared eights wickets between them. The bowlers were unable to defend a modest 201-run target and they were let down by not just the batting but also the fielding. If it weren't for the 76-run eighth wicket stand between stumper Sushma Verma and tailender Pooja Vastrakar, the home team could have faced a bigger defeat.
India will also expect their bowlers to step up the pressure against the tourists. On the other hand, the visitors will aim to continue their all-round show and seal the series. Opener Nicole Bolton was in sublime touch, hitting an unbeaten 100. She would be looking forward to continue her good form while her partner Alyssa Healy would not want to throw away a promising start again. On her return to international cricket after seven months, captain Meg Lanning too was amongst runs before she ran herself out while all-rounder Ellyse Perry also came good with the willow.
India: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (VC), Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bist, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Mona Meshram, Poonam Yadav, Sukanya Parida.
Australia: Meg Lanning (Captain), Alyssa Healy, Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ellyse Perry, Elyse Velani, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachel Haynes, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Megan Schutt, Beh Mooney, Belinda Vakarewa, Amanda Jade-Wellington. IANS