Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and elected to bat against India in their Women’s T20 World Cup match at Melbourne on Saturday.
India, who have already qualified for the semifinals with three wins in a row, are unchanged.
Speaking about the match on Friday, India captain Harmanpreet Kaur insisted that her side will take its final group game of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka seriously before shifting focus on to the semifinals.
India became the first side to sail through to the knockout stages after securing wins against hosts and defending champions Australia, as well as Bangladesh and New Zealand, in the first week of the tournament.
“I know we have qualified, but the next game is still crucial for us. We will be taking Sri Lanka very seriously,” Harmanpreet said.
“They’ve been doing well. I know they haven’t won a game, but they were almost there on both occasions. We will be taking it very seriously before we start thinking about the semifinals,” she added.
Victory over Sri Lanka on Saturday would see India top Group A and head into the semifinals high on confidence.
“We try to take every wicket in all of our games. Every wicket is an important one at this level. We just have to try and stick to our plan, especially to get out the likes of Chamari Athapaththu early. That will be crucial,” Harmanpreet said.
Sri Lanka veteran Shashikala Siriwardena—who will retire from all formats of the game at the end of the tournament after 17 years—is proud of her team’s fight so far, but admitted that it would be a big disappointment if they fail to register a win in her farewell tournament.
“We want to take victories in our next two games. We did well against Australia and New Zealand, but we couldn’t turn it into a win,” Siriwardena said. “We have to do what we have done well in previous matches against India but at the same time we need to correct the mistakes we are repeating, especially in fielding,” she added.
India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Taniya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (C), Umesha Thimashini, Hasini Perera, Hansima Karunaratne, Shashikala Siriwardene(w), Harshitha Madavi, Anushka Sanjeewani, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Sathya Sandeepani and Udeshika Prabodhani.
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