India left out 21-year-old top-order batter Yastika Bhatia despite her impressive recent showings
Toss India chose to bat vs Pakistan
In the first India vs Pakistan 50-over women’s fixture in nearly five years, and what is also the tournament openers for both teams at the 2022 ODI World Cup, India captain Mithali Raj opted to bat at the Bay Oval in Maunt Maunganui.
Raj, making her sixth ODI World Cup appearance, said she wanted to follow the trend of teams setting targets, given all three earlier matches in the event have seen unsuccessful chases. Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof, however, said she would have bowled first because it’s a “damp wicket.”
Javeria Khan and Sidra Amin will open for Pakistan, who will rely on the young pacers, Diana Baig and Fatima Sana, to make early inroads. Left-arm spinner Nashra Sandhu, too, would be key to their chances of pulling off an upset on Sunday.
This is the same surface on which the New Zealand vs West Indies cliffhanger was played, with West Indies shocking the hosts with a final-over victory. Former New Zealand batter Lesley Murdoch said during the pitch report there could be a little bit of spin on the surface, but batters were expected to reap dividends of spending time in the middle.
Both teams won their two warm-ups each heading into the tournament.
This is Maroof’s first international fixture since returning from maternity leave, which had prompted the PCB to launch a historic first bespoke maternity policy among Full Members in the subcontinent. This is also the first time she is leading Pakistan in a 50-over world tournament.
India>: 1 Smriti Mandhana, 2 Shafali Verma, 3 Deepti Sharma, 4 Mithali Raj (capt), 5 Harmanpreet Kaur, 6 Richa Ghosh (wk), 7 Sneh Rana, 8 Jhulan Goswami, 9 Meghna Singh, 10 Pooja Vastrakar, 11 Rajeshwari Gayakwad
Pakistan: 1 Javeria Khan, 2 Sidra Amin, 3 Bismah Maroof (capt), 4 Omaima Sohail, 5 Nida Dar, 6 Aliya Riaz, 7 Fatima Sana, 8 Sidra Nawaz, 9 Diana Baig, 10 Nashra Sandhu, 11 Anam Amin
Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha