Women in Blue ready to bounce back 

Mithali and Jhulan’s absence will give opportunity to the likes of Meghana and Simran 

Mithali and Jhulan’s absence will give opportunity to the likes of Meghana and Simran 

After the disappointment at the World Cup, the Women in Blue are ready for international cricket once again. They would be hoping to erase those unpleasant memories from New Zealand with a fine show on the Sri Lanka tour which kicks off at Dambulla on Thursday with the first of the three T20I matches. The teams will also play a three-game ODI series.

Strongest pillars

The tour is not just the first after the World Cup where India failed to reach the knockout stage, but also the first after Mithali Raj’s retirement and the omission of Jhulan Goswami. They batter and the bowler have been the strongest pillars of the team for the last couple of decades.

Their absence will provide opportunities for the likes of batter S. Meghana and seaming all-rounder Simran Bahadur, both of whom had come up with fine performances at the recent Women’s T20 Challenge at Pune last month.

Harmanpreet Kaur, who has taken over as captain from Mithali, said the team would work on certain aspects of the game in the series. “One area we have to focus on is the tendency to struggle after losing early wickets,” she said.

“We have also been working hard on our fielding. The girls are looking in great shape.”

Interaction with Laxman

Ahead of the tour, the team had trained at the NCA, where the players had interacted with V.V.S. Laxman, who heads the academy. “We got an opportunity to speak to him after the World Cup,” Harmanpreet said.

“We were motivated by what he told us. We were all very happy that he was there with us continuously and giving suggestions.”|

Match starts at 2.30 p.m. 

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