Starting from 5th February, India Women are set to play a three match series with South Africa in their first overseas assignment in 2018. The importance of this series for Indian girls can be well established through the fact that it is the first international series for them after Women's World Cup 2017.
But before the start of this series, let us review the summary of Head to Head competition between India and South Africa till now.
Both the teams have faced each other in two (2) ODI series, one (1) Quadrilateral series, one (1) Women's World Cup qualifier series and four (4) times in Women's World Cup.
Following is the year-wise summary of all the earlier encounters between these two teams in ODIs :-
1. 1997 Women's World Cup - On 22nd December 1997, India Women and South Africa Women played against each other for the very first time at international level. It was 3rd quarterfinal match of Hero Honda WWC being held in India. It was South Africa's first World Cup tournament.
India crushed SA and won the match by 5 wickets with 132 balls still remaining in their innings.
2. 2000 Women's World Cup - In one of the group stage matches, India beat SA Women by 8 wickets. Mithali Raj was declared Player of the match in that face off.
3. 2001-02 ODI series - A four (4) match ODI series was played between these two and South Africa Women not only played competitively but also emerged as the winners of the rain-hit series. After the first match being washed away by rains, SA went on to win the next to games and take unaccessible lead of 2 matches, while India got a compensatory win in the last match of the series.
Legendary Jhulan Goswami and Mithali Raj, both played this overseas series.
4. 2004-05 WWC - India continues to dominate against SA in World Cup events and won a low scoring game by 4 wickets.
5. 2014 ODI Series - India Women and SA Women did not play even single ODI against each other for a decade and both teams underwent a huge transformation in all the areas of the game.
Finally SA team came to India to play a three (3) match series in India and won it 2-1.
6. 2016-17 ICC WWC Qualifiers - Played on 15th February 2017, Indian girls won this match by 49 runs and many of the current team members of the Indian Squad were part of this winning team.
7. 2017 Women's Quadrilateral Series - India and South Africa played three (3) Head-to-Head matches in this series. India winning the first game by 7 wickets while SA won Game number 2 by 8 runs. Then, final was played between these two and India emerged as winners once again.
8. 2017 WWC - Last but not the least, as we all know, South Africa registered their biggest win against India Women in one of the group stage matches by winning the game by 115 runs.
One thing that can be inferred from the past records of these teams is that win or loss in Indo-African matches is highly dependent on the batting of the South African team. India has comfortably won in the low scoring games while on the other hand, whenever South Africa bats well, the match goes their way.
With all the facts and stats placed above, India Women have won more matches as compared to SA but realistically one must understand that the opponent team would play on their home ground and thus, would have an edge over the Indians.
As of now, we wish that the India Women put an all-round fabulous performance and all the three (3) matches and take home - the series trophy with them.