Second loss for India in a row! Surely not a result we wished for.
India Women have put themselves in a tough situation now, after losing against Australia. On the other hand, Australia Women put up yet another match winning all-round performance to defeat India by 8 wickets.
As we discussed in the pre-match analysis of this game, the stats were not on India's side, but Women in Blue were required to converge all their positive energies, play exceptional cricket and turn around the tables. Instead, the Southern Stars outclassed them in each department to register a much deserving win.
With this, Australia Women along with S.Africa and England, have qualified for the semifinals of this tournament and India has been left in a do or die situation when they go in their last group stage match against New Zealand Women.
Earlier in the day, winning the toss, Australia invited India to bat first. The pitch looked dry and was supposed to help spinners with the required turn.
Meg Lanning's decision seemed to be right when A. Gardner struck early and removed Smriti Mandhana in the 4th over of the Indian innings.
Indian skipper Mithali Raj promoted herself and came in ahead of No 3 batter, Deepti Sharma. Both the batters took their time to settle down well with the aim of building up a careful partnership. It was a slow but steady start for India after the early blow as they stood at 25/1 at the end of ten overs.
Spinner Ellyse Perry came into attack in 11th over and Kristen Beams was bowling from the other end. As both the bowlers were bowling accurately, India’s first 50 came up off the last ball of 18th over. After 25 overs, Indian batters started fetching 5-6 runs per over making the overall run rate around 4 per over. India were 164/1 in 40 overs and the 2nd wicket partnership between Raut and Raj was 153 runs from 221 balls, by then.
Raut’s fine innings came to an end in 47th over when India had 202 runs on board. Four wickets fell in quick succession after that and India could manage to put up only 226 runs for the loss of 7 wickets at the end of 50 overs.
Meanwhile some of the major records made in this innings were as follows:-
1. Mithali Raj became the leading run scorer in Women's ODI on the 4th ball of 29th over surpassing the previous record of 5992 runs by Charlotte Edward of England.
2. Raj became the first Woman cricketer to complete 6000 ODI runs.
3. Mithali reached her 49th fifty in 32.2 overs.
4. Punam Raut struck her 1st century in a world cup event off 129 balls.
Nicole Bolton and Beth Mooney opened for Australia. Playing a safe innings, both had put up 34 runs on the scoreboard at the end of 10 overs.
India still looking for wickets, Ekta Bisht was brought into attack in 11 over. Bolton hit her for three 4s in that over and clarified her intent to play harsh on spinners. But Punam Yadav got her out in 15th over.
23rd over of the Australia’s innings was an eventful over. As Australia reached 100, Mooney was run out by a direct hit from Deepti Sharma.
But Captain Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry went on a rage after that and soon the required run rate was lower than the current run rate. They were comfortably placed at 172/2 before the 2nd batting powerplay.
Relying on 100 plus partnership between these two, Australia reach the target in 45.1 overs.
Following is the list of factors which are probably contributing to some of the strategical mistakes by Indian team:-
1. Excessive defensive approach of Indian batters especially M. Raj
2. Too many shuffles in the batting order (No 3 batter Deepti Sharma came in to bat No 9)
3. Poor fielding efforts by players except Veda Krishnamurthy
Indians have got to do a lot of homework on the above mentioned areas to get past over NZ in the next match.
Hopefully Raj and team will bounce back in style and continue their run in this world cup.