The opening encounter of the Women's T20 World Cup 2020, set to begin on 21 February will feature two heavyweights in action as hosts Australia square off against the Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian side at the Sydney Showground Stadium in Sydney.
Four-time champions and the defending champions, Australia will begin the tournament with the favourites tag but could be expected to be given a run for their money by the Indian side, which boasts of some exciting names such as Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma among others.
The Indian eves have already had quite a lot of time to adjust to the conditions in Australia but will be keen on reversing the result when the two sides last met in the finals of the Tri-series that also included England.
India were in control of chasing down their 156-run target until Smriti Mandhana was removed for a 37-ball 66 which exposed the brittle middle order as the visitors lost their next four wickets for just 12 runs and fell short by 11 runs.
Yet, they can take confidence from the way the bowlers, led by Poonam Yadav restricted the West Indies batters in a 108-run chase in the warm-up game that was contested between the two sides on 18th February in the lead-up to the upcoming T20 World Cup.
In terms of head to head results, Australia have won three of the last five games contested between these two sides, while India have won two games, including a league stage match during the recently concluded Tri-series.
While one might expect Australia to pick up a win from this game with the batters in fine form led by skipper Meg Lanning, the onus will be on Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet to lead India to a morale-boosting opening encounter win.
Tournament: Women's T20 World Cup 2020
Venue: Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney
Date: 21st February 2020
Time: 1.30 PM IST onwards
The Showground Stadium, also known as the Spotless Stadium was last used during the Big Bash League, which saw the spinners pick up quite a few wickets with the track offering a little bit of spin. However, with the ball coming onto the bat nice and early in the game, the batters will be keen on making the most of the powerplay restrictions before spin takes over.
Australia: Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (C), Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachel Haynes, Nicola Carey, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck.
India: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Shikha Pandey, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Arundhati Reddy.
Where to watch the matches in India?
Australia-W v India-W will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil, Star Sports 1 Telugu, Star Sports 1 Kannada.
Live stream details
The live stream for Australia-W v India-W will be available on Hotstar.comPublished 20 Feb 2020, 11:31 IST