• India women to play 3 ODIs, one-off Test and 3 T20Is in Australia from September 21 to October 10
  • Smriti Mandhana said India are looking forward to challenging Australia in Australia
  • India lost the T20 World Cup final to Australia in 2020. It was also their last meeting

India women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana says India are looking forward to taking on Australia in the upcoming limited-overs and Test series and that hosts’ competitive edge will rub off on the Indian team. Mandhana said India are pumped up more than usual when they play against one of the best teams in Australia.

India lost to Australia women in the final of the T20 World Cup last year but Smriti Mandhana believes India have improved well over the last year and a half. After returning from Covid-19 lockdown, India took on South Africa and toured England earlier this year.

India women’s cricket team stars are in quarantine in Australia and will play their first practice game on Saturday. The two teams will play 3 ODIs, one-off pink-ball Test and 3 T20Is from September 21 to October 10.

“The team has grown massively (since the T20 World Cup),” Smriti Mandhana told the Scoop Podcast.

“We all love playing against Australia, because they are one of the best teams in the world and quite competitive,” she added.

“When it comes to Australia, you’re a bit more pumped because of the level of competitiveness of the Australian team, it just rubs off on us and we also start being extra competitive.”

Mandhana expects India to challenge Australia

Smriti Mandhana pointed out that India have had the opportunity to work hard on fitness and skill with the regular competitive action in 2021. India women came up with a spirited performance in the one-off Test in Egland, managing to steal a draw but lost the ODI and T20I series.

India will be playing their first-ever pink-ball Test when they face Australia at Canberra in Queensland from September 30 and Smriti believes Indian batters do enjoy the pitches in Australia.

“COVID was a big break after the T20 World Cup and a lot of girls had a chance to go back and understand more about their games, where they lack as an individual and come back stronger,” Mandhana said.

“The whole team has worked on their fitness and skills…we are still getting into a rhythm of playing matches continuously but the last five, six months we have been playing cricket and now we are getting back into the match mindset. Hopefully the series goes well for the whole team.”

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