Australia captain Meg Lanning and India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur
Australia captain Meg Lanning and India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur
Photo: AFP

It is India's chance for redemption as they begin their T20 World Cup campaign against defending champions Australia at Sydney on Friday. The precious trophy has eluded India every since the tournament began in 2009. Inconsistency has plagued India for a long time and a classic example was their performance in the recently held tri-series in Australia where they reached the final.

When is Australia vs India Women's T20 World Cup match taking place?

The match will be played on 21 February, Friday.

Where is the match taking place?

The match will take place at Spotless Stadium, Sydney..

What time does the match start?

The match will start at 01.30 PM IST.

Where can you watch live coverage of the match?

The match will broadcast live on the Star Sports network.

Can you watch the match online?

The match will be aired online on Hotstar.

India' middle and lower-order needs to do a lot better than what it has been doing to beat the likes of Australia and England in the knock-out stages, something that has been been acknowledged star opener Smriti Mandhana.

The team needs to ensure that the frequent middle-order collapses are not repeated in the showpiece event.

The southpaw and 16-year-old Shafali Verma will have to get India off to a flying start more often than not in the competition.

Expectations are high from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who too has suffered from inconsistency and would like to correct that, beginning with the opener against Australia.

It remains to be seen if the other 16-year-old in the squad, Richa Ghosh, gets to play regularly as she made her international debut only in the final of the tri-series.

In the bowling department, they have heavily relied on spinners with not many quality pacers to choose from.

Shikha Pandey, who is often the lone pacer in the playing eleven full of spinners, has the crucial task of providing early breakthroughs.

"As an opening bowler, I'm obviously thinking about the early breakthroughs and that doesn't change," said Pandey, India's fifth-highest wicket-taker in T20s.

"In the first six, we are trying to take wickets and then it's about containing the batters before coming back and bowling the best you can in the death overs.

"I would say 150 is now a par score in a T20 game, so the first six overs batters actually get a lot of freedom and try to hit as many runs as possible," she added.

The squad is expected to reach the last four as it had two years ago but the growing women's game in India will get a further fillip only if they go all the way.

They take on Australia, who could not have asked for a better build-up to the tournament than winning the preceding tri-series.

However, they suffered a big blow on the eve of the tournament opener as their lead pacer Tayla Vlaeminck, who had troubled the Indian batters in the tri-series with extra pace, was ruled out of the competition due to a foot injury. Off-spinner Molly Strano was named her replacement.

"There's no one quite the same as Tayla so we will have to slightly tweak how we are going to go about it," said captain Meg Lanning.

"But generally our plans are pretty flexible anyway, so we don't feel like it's going to be too much of a disadvantage," she added.

Squads:

Australia: Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (vice-capt), Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Meg Lanning (capt), Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham.

India: Taniya Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Richa Ghosh, Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Shafali Verma, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav.

(With Agency Inputs)

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