Indian women to meet Australian women at Commonwealth Games

By Kersi Meher-Homji

The Indian men’s team beat the West Indians 3-0 in the One Day Internationals (ODIs) at Port of Spain yesterday. Now their female counterparts are all ready to take on the Aussie girls at the Commonwealth Games today at Birmingham.

What the Aussies fear most is facing the Indian spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad. She was lethal against an experienced Australian team last time they played a Twenty20 (T20) series in 2021, claiming the wickets of champion bats Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning in both matches.

Rajeshwari took 45 wickets in those T20 internationals at an average of 18, with 15 of those scalps coming against Australia.

And now the Australian batters will face her onslaught once again when the Commonwealth Games get underway at 8pm (AST) tonight in the first of three group-stage matches. Speaking ahead of the recent tri-series tournament against Pakistan and Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, Australian captain Meg Lanning said the Games would be tough from the start. “We are going to have to be ready straight away for India first, who are a very dangerous team,” Lanning concluded.

Now to India men’s 3-0 triumph against the West Indies at Port of Spain

India won the rain-interrupted final ODI yesterday by 119 runs thanks to a magnificent 113 run opening wicket partnership between skipper Shikhar Dhawan (58 runs) and Player of the Match Shubman Gill (98 not out). Then Gill added 86 runs for the second wicket with Sheyas Iyer (44). India totalled 3 for 225 in 36 allotted overs.

The Windies were dismissed for a poor total of 137 in only 26 overs, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal capturing 4 for 17 as India won the match and the series.

Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan said at the presentation, “My boys are young in age but played maturely. They showed common sense and handled themselves well. The whole team performed, which is important. I’m pleased with my form, I know how to convert 50s into 100s. Got out on 97 in the first game, even today I was good. I took a risk to up the run rate and got out, so it’s good regardless. [On Gill] it happens sometimes, the 98 was good. He timed the ball well. The way Shreyas and how everyone responded was great. We are grateful and lucky. I’m proud of our bowling attack, they gave their 100%, Siraj took two early wickets then Axar, Chahal, Shardul – everyone deserves credit.”

Shubman Gill, Player of the Match and Player of the Series said, “For 98 not out and for [scoring] 205 runs in the series I felt great. But it was bittersweet. I was expecting to get 100 [in the last ODI]. It was not under my control as it rained but was happy with my innings. I was disappointed with how I got out in the first two matches. I tried to rotate strike. After the rain break, we let our instincts take over. I just wanted one more over when we walked out before the last break.”

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