India v Australia ODIs

Aussies get reminder tougher tests await

As Australia cruised to a comfortable win against India A, the India captain was an interested observer on the sidelines in Mumbai

Laura Jolly, in Mumbai

09 March 2018, 08:51 AM

Lanning thrilled with return to form in India

As Australia disposed of a relatively inexperienced India A side with ease for the second time in three days on Thursday, a player who promises to pose a much sterner test come next week's ODIs was close at hand.

During Australia's bowling innings on Thursday, India captain Mithali Raj spent more than an hour in the BKC Ground nets – just over the boundary fence from her upcoming opponents – tirelessly perfecting her own game.

Mithali Raj keeps an eye on the Aussie game // Cricket Network
Mithali Raj keeps an eye on the Aussie game // Cricket Network

She couldn't have helped but have one eye on the Australians in the middle, given her proximity, although the 35-year-old will no doubt be feeling confident after just led her team to a 2-1 away series win over South Africa, before producing a personal player-of-the-series performance in the T20Is against the Proteas.

And her presence was a timely reminder to Australia that they can take nothing for granted, despite strong warm-up results which saw them beat India A by 321 runs and seven wickets in back-to-back games, when the ODI series begins in Vadodara on Monday.

The last time the teams met, in last year's World Cup in the United Kingdom, Raj's team ended Australia's dream of back-to-back wins, knocking them out of the semi-final.

Flashback: Australia out of World Cup after Kaur carnage

Nevertheless, it was hard for Lanning to find many faults with Australia's warm-up results, which will see the tourists head to Vadodara full of confidence for the ODIs.

"There are a few things we need to tweak here and there and we can be a bit more consistent, but I think overall we're pretty pleased with both the batting and bowling," Lanning said on Saturday.

"Everyone got a lot out of our two practice games.

"We don't know a lot about (Vadodara), none of us have played there but we'll have a couple of practice sessions there before the first game.

"I think the conditions will be similar to here in Mumbai and we've had a good chance to get used to these conditions, so I think we'll be ready to go."

The full 14-player ODI squad were given the opportunity to press their cases for selection during Australia's first week on the subcontinent and their performances to date have ensured some selection headaches ahead of Monday's first ODI.

All three bowlers in contention to replace injured allrounder Tahlia McGrath – NSW quick Belinda Vakarewa and uncapped allrounders Nicola Carey and Sophie Molineux – put in strong performances, while opening batter Beth Mooney stated a near-irresistible case for an ODI recall with her warm-up ton.

"Nicola Carey came into the side and started really well, over here she's quite effective with her skidding bowling that tasrgets the stumps.

"She's been really impressive and the other new player, Sophie Molineux, has come in calm and collected and slotted in nicely.

"(Selection) is going to be a tough, we've got a lot of batters in form and a lot who bat higher up the order as well.

Australian cricket presses for progress

"We're going to have a strong line up whichever way we go, but it's definitely going to be difficult to settle on that final XI."

ICC Women's Championship points will be on offer in the three-match ODI series, which the top four teams at the end of the Championship earning automatic qualification for the 2021 World Cup.

Cricket.com.au will provide news, scores, highlights and behind-the-scenes coverage from on the ground in India, while Fox Sports will broadcast all three ODIs and the T20I tri-series that will follow live.

Australia tour of India

Australia ODI squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Australia T20 squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Naomi Stalenberg, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington

India ODI squad: Mithali Raj (Captain), Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Smriti Mandhana, Punam Raut, Jemimah Rodrigues, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Sukanya Parida, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma

Warm-up match v India A, Australia won by 321 runs

Warm-up match v India A, BKC Ground, Mumbai, March 6

ODI series

First ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, March 12

Second ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, March 15

Third ODI Reliance Stadium, Vadodara, March 18

T20I tri-series

First T20I Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, March 22

Second T20I Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 23

Third T20I India v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 25

Fourth T20I Australia v India, Brabourne Stadium, March 26

Fifth T20I Australia v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 28

Sixth T20I India v England, Brabourne Stadium, March 29

Final Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai, March 31