With focus firmly on batting, the Indian women’s cricket team will be eyeing a 3-0 sweep of Bangladesh, when the fancied visitors take on the beleaguered hosts in the final T20 International here on Thursday.
The Harmanpreet Kaur-led outfit won the first two matches without much fuss and will be looking to do an encore when it takes to the field in the third game.
However, it is easier said than done given India’s mediocre outing with the bat in the second match, which they scraped through by eight runs despite being stopped at 95 in their allotted 20 overs.
The hosts were bowled out for 87 thanks to some excellent bowling by the Indians, giving them an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
Big-hitting opener Shafali Verma will, once again, be under the lens of the selectors after her twin failures in the series.
While her 14-ball 19 eventually turned out to be the team’s highest score in the unforgettable collapse, the young batter is well aware of her capabilities and expectations from her, and has another chance to get back among big runs before the ODI leg of the tour starting July 16.
Senior pro and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana too will be keen to get going after getting dismissed for a run-a-ball 13 on Tuesday.
The Indian openers have failed to fire together in the series so far and will be gunning to make use of another opportunity that awaits them on Thursday.
So is the case of Jemimah Rodrigues, who also could not get going and struggled a lot in the middle while consuming as many as 21 balls for her eight runs.
Out for a first-ball duck two days after her match-winning knock in the series opener, skipper Harmanpreet would not look to read too much into her failure on Tuesday and would rather see it as an exception.
Even as the batters endured the kind of outing they would like to forget in a hurry, the Indian bowlers will enter the final T20I high on morale.
Defending 96, the likes of Deepti Sharma, Minnu Mani and Shafali delivered with the ball to bundle out the opponents in exactly 20 overs, with Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana (38 off 55 balls) playing a lone hand.
As far as the home team is concerned, there batters too would look to give a much better account of themselves to raise hopes of a consolation win, which looks unlikely at the moment given the Indian team’s all-round strength even though the Bangladesh bowlers did extremely well to restrict the visitors in their last outing.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Shefali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Devika Vaidya, Uma Chhetri (wk), Amanjot Kaur, S Meghna, Pooja Vastrakar, Meghna Singh, Anjali Sarwani , Monika Patel, Rashi Kanojia, Anusha Bareddi, Minnu Mani.
Bangladesh: Nigar Sultana (c/w), Shamima Sultana, Murshida Khatun, Sobhana Mostary, Shorna Akter, Ritu Moni, Nahida Akter, Fahima Khatun, Rabeya Khan, Shanjida Akter, Salma Khatun, Marufa Akter, Dilara Akter, Disha Biswas, Sultana Khatun, Shathi Rani.
Match Starts: 1:30 pm IST.