The Indian Women’s cricket team underwent an upheaval, a baptism of sorts, after the disappointing World T20 in West Indies and the fiasco that followed.
The rancour had grabbed the entire nation’s attention with player Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, and the former team coach Ramesh Powar at the centre of it all. Ramesh Powar was ousted ever since, with VW Raman coming in.
The upcoming series against New Zealand thus presents a perfect opportunity for the women’s team to bury the ghosts of the past and start afresh.
Reflecting on the same, Mithali Raj said, “I think it is a fresh start. Coming into the new year, this is the first series & yes, we’ve moved on from that (the controversy).”
Also Read | India Tour of New Zealand Preview
The Indian Women will be playing three ODIs in their tour to New Zealand before competing in three other T20s. Incidentally, their tour in New Zealand corresponds to that of the Men in Blue, who will also be travelling down south after a historic Australia campaign.
The proceedings will be dominated with the talks of the return of Frances Mackay to the New Zealand women’s T20I squad after a five-year sabbatical. The Kiwi selectors also went ahead with giving uncapped Caitlin Gurrey and Rosemary Mair a chance in the 13-member squad for the three-match series against India.
As for India, this will be the team’s first tour of NZ in over 12 years. The series will also see Mithali Raj complete 200 ODIs.
The team’s last meeting was in the 2018 World Cup T20 in the Caribbean, when Harmanpreet Kaur’s memorable century had guided India to a thumping 34-run win over New Zealand.
As for a bilingual series, India had hosted New Zealand in 2015 and won the tightly-contested five-match ODI series by a margin of 2-3. However, the visitors were handed the consolation after they won the three-match T20I series by 2-1.
What They Said
The New Zealand skipper Amy Satterthwaite expressed that the wickets in NZ will be a “different challenge” for the Indian spinners unlike back in India.
Mithali Raj, on the other hand, underlined how the series would be crucial from the direct entry to the 2021 World Cup, with the points earned in the tour being calculated for the Women’s Championships.
India vs New Zealand Schedule
One Day Internationals
1st ODI: January 24 Napier, 6.30 (IST)
2nd ODI: January 29, Mount Maunganui, 6.30 (IST)
3rd ODI: February 1, Hamilton, 6.30 (IST)
1st T20: February 6, Wellington, 8.30 (IST)
2nd T20: February 8, Auckland, 8.30 (IST)
3rd T20: February 10, Hamilton, 8.30 (IST)
Complete Squads for India vs New Zealand Women:
India Women’s Team: Mithali Raj (captain), Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Raut, Tanya Bhatia (wk), Deepti Sharma, Mona Meshram, Mansi Joshi, Ekta Bist, Dayalan Hemlatha, Shikha Pandey, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami.
New Zealand Women’s Team: Amy Satterthwaite (captain), Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Lauren Down, Leigh Kasperek, Holly Huddleston, Amelia Kerr, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Katie Perkins, Lea Tahuhu.
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 22, 2019
India vs New Zealand Live Streaming
The India tour of New Zealand will be live streamed on Hotstar.