One of the top players of 2023 in white ball cricket, Sri Lankan superstar Chamari Athapaththu has set her eyes on the big prize at the ICC Women's T20 World Cup later this year.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur won the toss and elected to bat first against Australia in their first Group A match of the women’s T20 event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Friday at Edgbaston.
The match between India and Australia, played in bright morning sunshine in Birmingham, also marks the debut of women’s and T20 cricket in the multi-nation event. The 2022 Commonwealth Games also mark the return of cricket to the Commonwealth Games fold after a 24-year absence, with men’s List A matches held in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
India had defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 in T20Is ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Friday’s match is also India’s first-ever T20I match at Edgbaston.
“Wicket looks good. We have trained hard last couple of months and see what works for us. Side is looking positive. We are going with three spinners, two medium pacers, keeper and the rest batters,” said Harmanpreet.
Australia, the overwhelming favourites for the gold medal, won a tri-series against Pakistan and Ireland, despite rain interrupting the majority of their matches.
“Will be enjoyable to go out first as a team on the field. Preparation has been good, we are ready to play. We have played in big competitions. We are so used to it (extra pressure) to be honest. We want to win every game we play. It is a new tournament, difficult to win, but want to enjoy the challenge,” said skipper Meg Lanning.
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia (wicketkeeper), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Meghna Singh and Renuka Thakur.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wicket-keeper), Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning (captain), Tahlia McGrath, Rachael Haynes, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt and Darcie Brown.
(Inputs from IANS)