The Indian women's cricket team are on the verge of registering their maiden double series win on South African soil when they take on the hosts in the third Twenty20 International at Johannesburg on Sunday. India won the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series 2-1 and are currently leading the five-match T20 series 2-0. A victory will not only ensure an unassailable lead 3-0 lead but also make the Harmanpreet Kaur-led team first among equals to have won two series on a single tour of South Africa. A win will also mean that the women's team will have won T20 series in both Australia and South Africa.
With the men's team also starting their T20 campaign at the same venue after the women's match, the onus will be on the women's team to set the bar high for the Virat Kohli-led team.
Unlike other matches, this match will be telecast live before the men's match.
The women have so far put up a near flawless show in both the T20 encounters, winning by seven and nine wickets, respectively.
Veteran Mithali Raj, who no longer leads the side in the shortest format, displayed her wealth of experience with successive half-centuries -- an unbeaten 54 and an unbeaten 76 -- and bagged the 'Player of the Match' on both occasions.
Left-handed batter Smriti Mandhana, after a fantastic one-day series, also played her part in the second game, scoring 57 off 42 balls, including three sixes.
The bowling unit has also performed admirably with Shikha Pandey leading the charge in the absence of an injured Jhulan Goswami. She has received able support from leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, off-break bowler Anuja Patil and all-rounder Deepti Sharma.
It will be interesting to see whether the Indian team management -- coach Tushar Arothe, skipper Harmanpreet and senior most player Mithali -- decide on playing veteran Rumeli Dhar, who will be donning national colours after a gap of six years.
(With PTI Inputs)