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India Women head into the One-Day International (ODI) series with confidence from their victory in the one-off Test at Wormsley. Though they faced defeat in the 50-over warm-up gameat Harrogate, the memories of the Test victory would still be fresh and motivate the India Women to do well, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.
Riding high on their victory in the only Test, the India Women are now gearing up for the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against England Women. This side under Mithali Raj has shown good temperament and cricketing acumen to register a victory in their first Test in eight years. For eight members of the team, it was a maiden experience in the white flannels, yet they faced the challenge head on and emerged victorious. The victory did get significant attention considering the struggles of their male counterparts.
Though India won the only Test at Wormsley, they face a different challenge in the ODIs. If one looks at the overall head-to-head record between the two sides, England have the advantage having clinched 32 of their 59 contests. India have managed to win 25 of those matches. However, if one narrows that down to ODIs played in England, India have only won four out of 25 games — two of those victories came on India’s last tour in 2012, where they managed to take a 2-0 lead in the series only to lose the last three games. Their two other victories in England date back to 1999.
Mithali’s side would want to change that record and set things right in England. The victory in the Test match should be a huge boost. As mentioned earlier, most players did not have the exposure to the classical format and yet they emerged stronger. Psychologically, such experiences only make you stronger and inculcate a unique sense of confidence. India Women would feel that they have done something unique and that should hold them in good stead.
India did play a warm-up encounter against the England Women Academy. However, they could not beat the opposition that did feature a few England players. But, a pertinent fact is that Mithali and Jhulan Goswami, perhaps the two most important members of this side, did not play and allowed the younger lot the opportunity with Karuna Jain leading the side. They would thus treat this as a minor hiccup in their path and would motivate themselves to strive ahead.
The first ODI is important in more than one way. The ICC Women’s Championships starts on August 21 and the two teams would be eyeing success there. India have some good players in Smriti Mandhana, Thirush Kamini, Poonam Raut, Ekta Bisht among others. The core of this team has stayed intact for some time and would want to build on their recent success in Old Blighty.
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