The women’s cricket team, who are participating in the Asian Games for the first time, will begin their campaign against Malaysia in the quarter-finals on Thursday (21st). In this T20 match, the Indian team will be without regular captain Harmanpreet Kaur. She was banned for two matches by the ICC for misbehavior during the series against Bangladesh. In her absence, Smriti Mandhana will lead the team.
Indian team is the highest ranked team in Asiad. India need only three wins to clinch the gold medal. If Team India reaches the final, Harmanpreet will get a chance to play the title match. All the three matches here will be knockouts for India. The match between India and Malaysia will start at 6.30 am at Pingfeng Cricket Field, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou.
After nine years, cricket has been included in the Asian Games. Cricket was previously included in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games, but India did not field a team in both of these events, thus excluding cricket from the 2018 Asian Games.
BCCI has also fielded teams at the last minute in these matches. India have won the Women’s Asia Cup seven times out of eight. The Indian team is also the current Asian champion. Not only this, the Indian team has made it to the semi-finals or beyond in the last three T20 World Cups.
Considering India’s excellent record in Asia, the Indian team is considered a gold medal contender in this tournament. The top four teams India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been given direct entry into the quarter-finals.
Malaysia beat Hong Kong by 22 runs on Tuesday to advance. India and Malaysia have clashed twice before. India has won both times. If India wins the quarter-finals, they can face Bangladesh in the semi-finals. Pakistan will play against Indonesia.
Indian Women’s Team: Smriti Mandhana (captain), Shefali Verma, Devika Vaidya, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (not available), Richa Ghosh (wicketkeeper), Deepti Sharma, Minnu Mani, Kanika Ahuja, Amanjot Kaur, Uma Chhetri (wicketkeeper), Bareddi Anusha, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gaikwad, Titus Sadhu.