The Indian women’s cricket team will be eyeing a fresh start under new all-format skipper Harmanpreet Kaur against Sri Lanka in the first T20 International of the three-match series, starting in Dambulla on Thursday (June 23). With the T20s all set to feature in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and also at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup eight months away, India will look to begin their campaign on a high. This will be the first international assignment for the Indian women since the disappointment at the 2022 Women’s World Cup.
On the personal front, skipper Harmanpreet will be eyeing a milestone. The 33-year-old batter, who has amassed 2319 runs from 121 matches, needs another 46 runs to eclipse Mithali in the shortest format.
The spotlight will also be on vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet and coach Ramesh Powar, who recorded a seven-match winning streak in the last T20 World Cup before India were knocked out in the semifinals by South Africa. Hosts Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will start the series on the back foot as they were recently whitewashed 0-3 by Pakistan in a T20 series.
However, the Indians will have to remain vigilant against the likes of Sri Lankan veterans Oshadi Ranasinghe and Chamari Athapaththu. The Indians last played a one-off game against New Zealand in the shortest format in February this year, which they lost by 18 runs.