Dubai: The Indian team is aiming to climb out of the bottom half of the points table and fine-tuning preparations for the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 while taking on Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series in September.
The series holds significance for India as it is a chance for them to bounce back after their recent defeat at the hands of defending champions Australia at home.
For Sri Lanka, the series is an opportunity to open their account in home conditions while trying to forget their 3-0 series loss to India in the last edition of the tournament.
Reflecting on the series, Indian captain Mithali Raj said that the team would not take the series lightly as they are looking forward to climbing up the table.
“We will definitely play to our calibre and potential to help us gain maximum points from our series against Sri Lanka. We look forward to climb up the table and will work together as a team. We have practiced well for this series and this series will give us a great opportunity to prepare for the upcoming ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies,” Raj said.
“The Sri Lanka side is good and capable of beating any leading team. We will definitely not take this series lightly, especially because winning every point is important in getting our direct entry into the ICC Women’s World Cup,” she added.
Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu, on the other hand, holds a bold ambition of winning the series.
“Our aim is to do well in this series, in order to build our points to automatically qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup, so winning the three games is our first priority. We are shaping up very well. We have a new coach, Harsha de Silva, who has brought in some fresh thinking into our game. He has been with us earlier and the Sri Lanka women’s team have won matches under his charge. So, the confidence level of our players has gone up,” Athapaththu said.
“They have some world-class players with massive experience behind them. Nevertheless, we also have some solid experience and we are playing at home. Every moment of the game is a challenge for us. Every opposition is a challenge for us. However, the team who does well on the match-day wins,” she added.
India and Sri Lanka will play their first ODI on September 11 at Galle International Stadium followed by the second match at the same venue on September 13.
The last ODI between the two nations is slated to be held on September 16 at Katunayake.
Following are the full India and Sri Lanka squads:
India- Mithali Raj (captain), Tanya Bhatia, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy Smriti Mandhana, Shikha Pandey, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Poonam Yadav.
Sri Lanka- Chamari Athapathu (captain), Kaveesha Dilhari, Nilakshi De Silva, Nipuni Hansika, Ama Kanchana, Sugandika Kumari, Dilani Manodara, Imalka Mendis, Hasini Perera, Udeshika Prabodhini, Inoka Ranaweera, Anushka Sanjeewani, Shashikala Siriwardena, Prasadani Weerakkody, Sripalee Weerakkodi.