Women’s Test: India vs Australia | Squads | Players to watch | Fantasy Playing XI | Live Streaming | Pitch Report

Two of the very best, India and Australia, who’ve delivered several closely contested games in recent history, come together to script another chapter, this time in India, starting with a 4-day Test on the 21st of December, 2023. The One-Off Test will be staged at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, and live action commences at 9:30 AM Indian Standard Time (IST).

Women's Test: India vs Australia | Squads | Players to watch | Fantasy Playing XI | Live Streaming | Pitch Report
Women’s Test: India vs Australia | Squads | Players to watch | Fantasy Playing XI | Live Streaming | Pitch Report

Both India and Australia, in their most recent Test outing, registered dominating wins against England, but while India did so last week, Australia’s win dates back to June 2023. There is certainly a lot of momentum in India’s favor with their Test win against England and home conditions, but all-conquering Australians have punched above their weight and won crunch moments, so what’s in store? Another intriguing contest.

Squads:

India – Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (WK), Richa Ghosh (WK), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar, Priya Punia

Australia – Alyssa Healy (C, WK), Tahlia McGrath (VC), Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

Players to watch out:

Jemimah Rodrigues

The 23-year-old middle-order batter, in a couple of Test outings on debut in the Test against England last week, scored 95 runs, with a mature 68 in the first innings. With injury concerns over no. 3 Shubha Satheesh, Jemimah, who has piled on runs in domestic games lately, her role at the top of the order becomes crucial, and it’ll be hoped she steps up again, contributing significantly.

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Pooja Vastrakar

The 24-year-old all-rounder, averaging 19.66 in 5 Test innings, has picked up 9 wickets, with her best match figures being 4/62, and can also be a handy batter. Pooja, in the recent England Test, registered figures of 1/39 and 3/32. She has been bowling with great rhythm in the nets, and it’ll be expected of her to translate the same form into the Test while also chipping in with late runs.

Beth Mooney

The 29-year-old batter, in 9 Test outings and averaging 33.55, has accumulated 302 runs, with the highest being 85. Beth was in sublime touch in the recent Bash season, and it’ll be watched if she can replicate the same in red-ball cricket. Early partnerships and big runs on the board are key in Tests, especially in India, and the team will rely on the seasoned opener to deliver for the side.

Ashleigh Gardner

The 26-year-old all-rounder, averaging 33.00, has scored 198 runs in 7 Test outings and bagged 16 wickets, 12 of which came against England in the One-Off Test earlier this year. Runs off Gardner’s blade could be decisive for the team, as her counterattack can swing the game’s momentum. With the pitch expected to assist spinners, the onus will be on her for the win.

Pitch:

Wankhede dishes out an evenly balanced center wicket with a slight advantage for bowlers over batters, as evidenced by the average score of 268 at the venue. The patches of green will have the pacers in play, but the dry wicket will see spinners hold the upper hand on this track.

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Weather:

Mumbai promises pleasant conditions throughout the four days of the Test with no expected rain delays or interruptions. The temperature is forecasted to hover around 30°C, with bright and sunny skies.

Fantasy playing XI:

Beth Mooney, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Tahlia McGrath, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Pooja Vastrakar

Match details:

Date – December 21-24, 2023

Time – 9:30 AM IST

Venue – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

Broadcast – The game will be live-streamed on Jio Cinema and telecasted on DD Sports and Sports18.

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