Tri-series: India need to bring aggression in batting before final

East London. India’s top-order batsmen will need to bring some aggression in their approach ahead of the final in the triangular T20 cricket series against South Africa here on Saturday. India and South Africa have already qualified for the finals as the West Indies lost their first three matches. In such a situation, this match will be like his ‘dress rehearsal’ before the final on February 2. Had the experienced duo of Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur not played their part well, the Indian team would not have been able to post a competitive score against the West Indies in the last league match.

While these two players will be expected to perform consistently well, the skipper will also expect better performance from the young players. Yastika Bhatia, opening the innings in the absence of Shefali Verma, has failed to take an aggressive approach in the powerplay. Right now India is facing South Africa and West Indies but this kind of attitude against teams like Australia and England in the World Cup can put the team in trouble. Like Shefali, India is missing a ‘power hitter’ in the middle order in the absence of Richa Ghosh, who is playing in the Under-19 World Cup. Amanjeet Kaur did well in her debut match and she will look to repeat the same. Jemimah Rodrigues’ poor run of form has continued since the home series against Australia and she would be looking to get some runs under her belt ahead of next month’s World Cup.

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This match will also give Harleen Deol a chance to make an impact as she failed in the last two matches. All-rounder Pooja Vastrakar, who is yet to play any match due to fitness issues, could make it to the playing XI on Saturday. The team also needs a good start in bowling from Shikha Pandey, who is returning to the Indian team. She could not take a wicket in her first match after her return. South Africa had lost to India in the first match of the tournament and will be looking to improve on this match ahead of the final.

South Africa defeated the West Indies by 10 wickets to secure their place in the final. Team India: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Yastika Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Jemima Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Devika Vaidya, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Radha Yadav, Renuka Thakur, Meghna Singh, Anjali Sarwani, Sushma Verma (wicketkeeper), Amanjot Kaur, Pooja Vastrakar, Sabhineni Meghna, Sneh Rana and Shikha Pandey. South Africa: Sune Luus (c), Chloe Tryon (vc), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Annerie Derksen, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tebogo Macheke, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Delmi Tucker and Laura Wolvaardt. The match will start at 10:30 pm Indian time.

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