For the first time ever in the history, Indian women’s cricket team failed to bring the Asian trophy home. After terrific show in fifty over world cup last year, the hopes were high and they were supposed to sustain that level of game at least and they were the team that should have dominated the tournament, but India failed to get past Bangladesh not once but twice and remember this was the first time Bangladesh defeated India.
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If a team of stature like India can’t win convincingly and consistently against sides like Bangladesh, then things will get difficult for them when they play much better sides like Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies.
The clouds of worries hover around the Indian team as T20 world cup is knocking doors. India need to improve and try to fill all the possible voids before the main showdown and from this point of view the upcoming Sri Lanka series will be very crucial where they play 5 T20I’s.
If we take a look over India’s performance in Asia cup this year, India were not able to put good score on board. Only once, they went par 150 while batting first which came against poor Malaysian side (169/3) and they just reached 132 run mark against Thailand.
We can’t expect a team to win a match against Australia and England if they are unable to get 170+ runs on the scorecard. We saw that in the tri-series that was played between India, Australia and England, even after scoring 198 against England, India lost the match by huge margin.
So in order to reach these targets openers need to fire consistently. Smriti Mandhana was able to get only 90 runs in 6 matches in the Asia Cup 2018; whereas Mithali’s runs came at slow pace. No doubt that she was able to hold the innings from one side and because of these early wickets Harmanpreet Kaur was always under pressure and she was not able to express herself completely. Since India doesn’t have the fire power like that of Australia, England and New Zealand, these 3 needs to score runs especially against tough opponents. But when a team is going in a big tournament they can’t win a tournament with just 3-4 players performing; it requires teamwork, others also need to take responsibilities. Veda Krishnamurthy, Pooja Vastrakar, Anuja Patil and Deepti Sharma have to contribute.
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Apart from this, Mandhana needs to avoid playing loose shots and since the team is over-dependent on her, she needs to be much more careful. Mithali should look for more scoring opportunities during her innings, Jemimah can be an alternative for the opening slot as she is good at rotating the strike and Harmanpreet needs to come early as she is the main batswoman in middle order. The more ball she face, the better it will be for the team and in the end we can expect Veda and Pooja to finish the innings alongside Anuja Patil.
In the bowling department, India doesn’t have quality pace attack like that of Australia ( Megan Schutt and Ellyse Perry) , England ( Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt ), South African (Marizanne Kapp and Shabnam Ismail ). Only 8 wickets out of 28 were taken by medium pacers in the Asia cup. We rely too much on Jhulan and even she didn’t look impressive in the Asia Cup. Shikha Pandey and Pooja Vastrakar need to raise their bowling accuracy and bowl with certain plans so they can at least hold on runs from one side and that will make spinners work much more easy.
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At last Harmanpreet’s captaincy was bit off color, her tactics were not enough to put Bangladesh under pressure both the times. So India can try a young captain like Smriti Mandhana or can go with experience of Mithali before it gets too late.