INDW vs SLW: Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the ODI team for the first time after Mithali Raj, the road is not easy

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Palekal. The newly appointed captain of the Indian team, Harmanpreet Kaur, who is starting a new era in 50-over cricket without Mithali Raj, will take on a new challenge from Friday. In the 3-match ODI series starting against hosts Sri Lanka (INDW vs SLW), they will expect improved performance in all departments from their players. The Indian team will go without its two veterans Mithali and Jhulan Goswami. Mithali retired from cricket earlier this month, while Jhulan has a hamstring strain. The absence of both the illustrious players of international cricket will be one of the many concerns for Captain Kaur ahead of the opening match of the ODI series.

The Indian team, however, made a positive start to the tour. They won the T20 series 2-1, but the performance of the Indian players was far from perfect. Now that the format changes, the regular players of the team would like to have a dominant performance against the lower ranked (ninth) Sri Lankan team. After Mithali’s retirement, Kaur was given the captaincy of the ODI team. He said before the match, ‘This is a new journey for me too.’

Improvements to be made in fitness and fielding

He said that my main goal is to improve our fitness and fielding. These are the two departments in which I personally want the team to do well. Batsmen were seen struggling on the slow pitch of Dambulla, due to which the Indian team could not score above 140 runs in all 3 T20s. Now Smriti Mandhana and Shefali Verma will be hoping for better and consistent performance in the 50-over format.

First match since March

India last played a 50-over match during the World Cup in March, when the team failed to qualify for the semi-finals. The Indian batting unit had then failed to play as a group attack and the team would be desperate to improve upon their weaknesses. Kaur herself is in excellent form. It will be good for India if the captain can maintain his top form after scoring the most runs for his team in the T20 series and also plays well with all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar. Young wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh would also like to show good performance.

Keep an eye on young fast bowlers

In the absence of the experienced Jhulan, the younger and less experienced fast bowling unit comprising Vastrakar, Simran Bahadur, Meghna Singh and Renuka Singh will be tested against the Sri Lankan batting lineup, which includes Chamari Atapattu. The spinners played their role well, but in the third match, they were seen struggling. Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gaikwad will be committed to do well in the longer formats. Kaur and Harleen Deol can also bowl some useful overs. The visiting team will also have to work on their fielding. During the T20 series, Indian players missed many run out opportunities and also dropped catches.

Sri Lanka not performing well

Sri Lankan team will try to continue the winning streak in the last T20 match. The hosts showed performance in this match as a united unit in all departments. But the batsmen will need to improve their game. Inoka Ranaveera and Oshadi Ranasinghe have been excellent in bowling. Sri Lanka lost the ODI series against Pakistan earlier this month and would be hoping to avoid a second successive defeat in the format.

Both teams are as follows

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (Vice Captain), Shefali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (WK), S Meghna, Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Simran Bahadur, Richa Ghosh (WK), Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Tania Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol.

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Sri Lanka: Chamari Atapattu (Captain), Nilakshi D’Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Vishmi Gunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Achini Kulsuriya, Sugandha Kumari, Harshita Samarawickrama, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoki Satyavani Ranashara, Anoushka Satyani Sandeepani Ranashara, Achini Kulsuriya, Sugandhika Kumari, Shehani, Tharika Sevandi.

Tags: Harmanpreet kaur, India Vs Sri lanka, Indian Womens Cricket, Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj

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