“If you’re bowling first, it looks like an advantage is there for bowlers,” agrees Goswami

There is some advantage to bowling first in Lucknow but not so much to justify first-innings scores of under 200, according to South Africa Women captain Sune Luus and India’s premier pace bowler Jhulan Goswami.

India and South Africa were bowled out cheaply in the two matches that have been played so far – for 177 and 157 respectively – and were untroubled in their chases. South Africa won the first match by eight wickets, India were victorious in the second by nine.

Goswami said the troubles upfront were because of the early starts and fresh conditions, which have eased up as the day has progressed. “We are playing a 9 o’clock match and when you are playing in a place like Lucknow, in the morning there is a little bit of moisture in the wicket. If you get the ball in the right area, it’s not easy to play shots,” she said after her match-winning four-for. “It’s much easier in the second innings. The wicket is very flat and you just need to play through the line. If you’re bowling first, it looks like an advantage is there for bowlers.”

“She’s a lot taller than most women that we would have played against so you have to play her the way you play the length of a man”

Sune Luus on the challenge of facing Jhulan Goswami

Luus noted that there also seemed to be more movement on Tuesday as compared to Sunday, but laid the blame for the low total with South Africa’s line-up, rather than India’s bowlers. “It’s a good batting wicket throughout. For pace bowlers, there’s always something in it for the first 10 or 15 overs when you bowl first. And it was a fresh wicket today. There was quite a lot of movement. Their two opening bowlers – Goswami and Mansi Joshi – bowled extremely well with the new ball. But we didn’t execute our shots. I don’t think they bowled well enough to bowl us out with great deliveries, although they still bowled well. We gave our wickets away at the wrong times.”