Mumbai: Flying high after two consecutive Test wins, India Women will now shift focus to white-ball cricket as they take on seven-time world champions Australia in a three-match ODI series, looking to resurrect their dismal record in the format, here on Thursday.
India have been in top form winning their last three contests — two Tests and one T20I — after losing the first two T20Is to England and concede the three-match series in this long home season.
After crushing England by a record 347 runs in the one-off Test, India carried the momentum to defeat Australia by eight wickets last week here at the Wankhede Stadium, which will also be the venue for the three-match ODI series.
Given their current form, India will eye more success in the fixtures lined up but the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side would know that it has a huge task cut out against Australia who have historically dominated them in 50-overs cricket.
India have only 10 wins and 40 losses to show from 50 ODIs against Australia overall, while at home, their record has been simply terrible.
With only four wins in 21 ODIs and 17 defeats at home, India have not beaten Australia in any of their last seven matches playing at home since February 2007.
In fact, the last time India and Australia played ODI cricket at the Wankhede Stadium, the home team suffered heavy defeats in March 2012, losing by 221 runs and five wickets in the last two ODIs of the three-match series.
India had lost the opening ODI heavily at Ahmedabad by 30 runs and were eventually whitewashed.
However, India have a new leadership pair of skipper Harmanpreet and coach Amol Majumdar and it will be a perfect opportunity to bolster their preparations for the ODI World Cup in 2025. These games will also bring a chance to improve a recent poor record in 50-overs cricket against this opponent.
India have lost each of the last seven ODIs — including a 0-3 whitewash at home in 2018 — against Australia to remain winless for about six years now, a trend that Kaur’s side would want to change starting with the first ODI to be played here on Thursday.
India have added fresh talent to their arsenal going into this white-ball leg against Australia with the exciting Shreyanka Patil, Saika Ishaque, Mannat Kashyap and Titas Sadhu getting their maiden ODI call-ups.
However, India will be without Devika Vaidya who was dropped despite taking six wickets in three matches in Bangladesh.
India have played only three ODIs this year — a three-match away series in Bangladesh – which ended in a 1-1 draw with the third game culminating in a tie in controversial circumstances, leading to skipper Kaur being banned for the next two matches.
While Jemimah Rodrigues has been India's top run-maker in three ODIs this year with 129 runs, for Australia it is their left-hand opener Beth Mooney who has amassed 387 runs with one century and two fifties in 11 matches.
Phoebe Lichfield and Ellyse Perry have also been among runs for the visitors, who will be keen to put the lessons learnt about the conditions during the one-off Test to good use as new skipper Alyssa Healy looks to win another series with an eye on the 2024 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
The visitors will bank on Ashleigh Gardner — 21 wickets in 11 ODIs this year — to continue with her successful run.
Overall, Australia’s confidence would not have taken a beating in the Test, given white-ball cricket is a format that players are more used to, something that Healy admitted as well after the one-off Test.
Squads: India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Shreyanka Patil, Mannat Kashyap, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Harleen Deol.
Australia: Darcie Brown, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Alyssa Healy (c&wk), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney (wk), Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham.
Time: 1:30pm IST.