Indian eves start favourites

Indian eves start favourites

The Mithali Raj-led Indian women’s side will take on South Africa in a four-day Test match starting Sunday here at the Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar cricket ground.

 

In the first-ever women’s Test match to be hosted in Mysuru, Indians will be favourites following their successful England tour three months ago. The South Africa eves on the other hand, are all set to play their first Test in seven years. 

The hosts appear a well-knit side with better experience while the Proteas’ have played just 11 Tests since 1960 with five defeats and six draws. Looking for their first ever Test win, the 14-member side includes eight players who are yet to make their Test debut. India on the other hand holds a better Test record and except Kamini Muthu and Karuna Jain, all the others who were a part of the squad which emerged triumphant England, have been retained. 

After playing host to the recently concluded Karnataka Premier League, the ground promises to produce an entertaining affair with the pitch likely to favour the batswomen. “We are confident of giving a good performance and the entire side is excited to play on home ground,” said skipper Mithali. 

The in-form Mithali and Smrithi Vandana will boost the Indian batting which has the dependable Harmanpreet Kaur and Shikha Pande in the middle order. 

The bowling though remains India’s best bet. Tamil Nadu’s Niranjana Nagaraj, who took a four-wicket haul in her Test debut against England in August, will look to repeat her stellar performance. 

The bowling unit will be spearheaded by veteran Jhulan Goswami and Sunday’s Test might see Karnataka duo -- Vijayapura’s spinner Rajeshwari Gaekwad and Bangalore’s VR Vanita -- playing their first Test. 

The visitors, led by Mignon du Preez, will look to pose a stiff challenge to the Indians with a team that includes promising spinner Sunnete Loubser and medium-pacer Shabnim Ismail adding strength to the bowling. Skipper Du Preez adds balance to the team with her all-round skills.

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