India Women will look to win the second T20I and level the series    Getty Images
India Women will look to win the second T20I and level the series Getty Images

It is the second Women’s Twenty20 International (T20I) as hosts India Women face West Indies Women in search of victory. The match will be played at the Dr. Gokaraju Liala Gangaaraju ACA Cricket Ground, Mulapadu. West Indies Women have started the T20I series with a victory as they won the series opener by a comfortable margin and will definitely look to continue with the winning momentum while the hosts will look to bounce back and take a positive move in the series. READ: India vs West Indies, 1st Women’s T20I Match Report: Stafanie Taylor’s 90 wins visitors opening fixture

India had a very fruitful One-Day International (ODI) series just before this T20I series. India won the series 3-0 against the visitors which was a big confidence booster for the side. Coming into the series, the hosts were the hand down favourites looking at both the homeside advantage that they have and the run had in the series. However, their were a lot of changes in both the squads, which certainly does not look to have helped the Indian Eves.

The biggest change was the change in command. Harmanpreet Kaur, who is one of the most talented and competent players of the Indian side, was handed the captaincy of Indian Women’s team for the T20I format in late October. Though she has led India earlier in T20Is as well as ODIs, this is her first series after becoming the captain officially and will be very crucial for her. Against the world champions, her tactics did not work and she will have to take better decision as far as change of bowling is concerned.

The absence of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswmai surely put a mental pressure upon the hosts and providing an edge to the visitors psychologically. However, the Eves did an exceptional job, making up for Mithali and putting up terrific performances with the bat, including the captain. The bowling though looked out of plan or strategy without Jhulan.

The batting of both the sides however has been dependent upon individual performances more than team game. It was a solo brilliance of skipper Stafanie Taylor which took the visitors to victory while India in ODIs have been dependent upon skipper Mithali or Veda Krishnamurthy for the batting performances.

The problem with India’s top persisted in the T20Is as well. Smriti Mandhana once again lost her wicket without contributing much. A tumbling top-order cannot be a good sign and the pressure comes down to the middle-order batters. This hampers both their natural game and the team score.

In bowling, the West Indies Women have been successful with the new ball as expected. However, they have not been able to maintain that flow of wickets while India have been better in the death overs as well. The ground looks to be good batting wicket and with both the teams consisting of many hard-hitters, the next match can also be expected to be a high-scoring one.

Another player whom the hosts side have missed is Rajeshwari Gayakawad. Rajeshwari is among the ones who were pivotal behind India’s 3-0 whitewash in the ODIs as she bowled brilliantly in the death overs. India’s fielding has also been impressive.

The two teams, irrespective of the result, have played good cricket and are expected to maintain that.

Squads:

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Meghna Singh,Shikha Pandey, Anuja Patil, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parween (wk), Preeti Bose, Mithali Raj, Deepti Sharma, Vellaswamy Vanitha

West Indies: Stafanie Taylor (c), Anisa Mohammed, Merissa Aguilleira (wk), Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Shaquana Quintyne, Shakera Selman, Tremayne Smartt.

Time: 10:00 IST | 04:30 GMT

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)