SA rested Marizanne Kapp, Tumi Sekhukhune, and Nondumiso Shangase, who all featured in the fifth and final ODI on Wednesday
Toss South Africa Women chose to bowl vs India Women
Allrounder Simran Bahadur has been handed her maiden India cap as Sune Luus, South Africa’s stand-in captain, opted to chase in the T20I series opener in Lucknow. South Africa, according to Luus, opted to stick to the “winning recipe” of fielding first they followed in the preceding ODI series that the hosts lost 4-1, as they rested Marizanne Kapp, Tumi Sekhukhune, and Nondumiso Shangase, who all featured in the fifth and final ODI on Wednesday.
India, led by Smriti Mandhana, who is standing in for the injured Harmanpreet Kaur included Nuzhat Parween as wicketkeeper in place of Sushma Verma who kept wicket in all five matches of the ODI series.
Mandhana will be joined at the top by fellow opener, the big-hitting 17-year-old phenom Shafali Verma, who almost singlehandedly steered India to the T20 World Cup final last year, and is playing her first match since the title clash at the MCG. She wasn’t part of the 15-member squad for the ODI series.
On the eve of the first T20I, Mandhana said she expected the Indian spinners to come back strong after a disappointing run in the five-match ODI series. “In T20Is, with just four overs – 24 balls – I think it will be easier for the spinners to focus on the 24 balls rather than the 60 balls. I look at it that way,” she said.
The pitch at the Ekana International Stadium, where all the five matches of the ODI series was played, carried a fairly even covering of grass and this being the first night game on this tour means the fielding of both teams will be tested.
India: 1 Smriti Mandhana (capt), 2 Shafali Verma, 3 Jemimah Rodrigues, 4 Deepti Sharma, 5 Richa Ghosh, 6 Harleen Deol, 7 Nuzhat Parveen (wk), 8 Simran Dil Bahadur, 9 Poonam Yadav, 10 Rajeshwari Gayakwad, 11 Arundhati Reddy
South Africa: 1. Lizelle Lee 2. Anneke Bosch 3. Sune Luus (capt) 4. Laura Wolvaardt 5. Mignon du Preez 6. Lara Goodall 7. Nadine de Klerk 8. Sinalo Jafta (wk) 9. Shabnim Ismail 10. Ayabonga Khaka 11. Nonkululeko Mlaba
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha