India lost the five
India lost the five-match ODI series to South Africa 4-1.

India vs South Africa: After suffering a 4–1 defeat in ODIs, India will be keen to bounce back in the T20I series starting in Lucknow on Saturday.

Involved in the ODI series, Indian women will have to step up their game in all departments to capitalize on themselves in the three-match T20I series against South Africa starting in Lucknow on Saturday. Apart from a nine-wicket win in the second match, Mithali Raj’s side failed to fire as a unit against their South African counterparts, who looked in good rhythm throughout the series. In the words of captain Mithali Raj, India looked weak in their first series in 12 months. When he posted a competitive score in the third and fourth ODIs, the hosts struggled for below-par totals in the first and fifth games.

With the lack of runs by Jemima Rodrigues, India missed the memory of youngster Shaifali Verma. However, the 17-year-old, who had an amazing T20 World Cup last year, will return to the top of the order.

Star opener Smriti Mandhana had played just one good inning in the five ODI series and she would need to move on.

India will also hope that the change of captaincy will bring a change in fortunes as Harmanpreet Kaur wants to lead from the front. With 160 runs, the right-handed batsman appears to be in good touch with the bat.

Harleen Deol and Richa Ghosh will also appear to use the opportunities they get to show off their skills in the middle order.

In ODIs, the hosts’ bowling depended on veteran Jhulan Goswami as the spinner, save Rajeshwari Gaikwad (8 wickets), failing to make a mark, which is one of the major reasons for the loss.

Senior leg-spinner Poonam Yadav and spin all-rounder Deepti Sharma were dropped from the fifth ODI after their brilliant performances and the pair will return to the shortest format.

In the Pace department, there will be a fight between Arundhati Reddy and Mansi Joshi and they will also have their eyes on crooks Monica Patel and Simran Dil Bahadur.

On the other hand, South Africa looks like a well-oiled machine, as their batsmen and bowlers have done well in the tour.

Opening batsman Liezel Lee, who topped the list of runs in four matches with 838 not out, 4, 132 not out, and 288 runs with a total of 69 runs, will once again dominate the proceedings.

He was supported by Mignon du Preez (166 runs) and Laura Volvard (154 runs) and would be a real test for the Indian bowling attack.

Pacevome Shabnam Ismail (7 wickets) and Tumi Sekhune (5 wickets) have been his most successful bowlers, while medium pacers Marijane Cup (3) and Nadine de Kilak (3) have chipped in with useful spells.

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemima Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma, Nuzhat Parveen, Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gaekwad, Poonam Yadav, Poonam Monika Patel, C. Pratyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur.

South Africa: Sune Luce (c), Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnam Ismail, Laura Volvard, Trisha Chetty, Sinaloa Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marijane Cup, Nondumiso Sangaze, Liesel Lee, Anneke Bosch, Faye Tunnicliffe, Nonfleck, Nunfleck. D. Clarke, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhune.

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