Team India suffered a 62 run defeat against the hosts New Zealand on Thursday losing their first match in the 2022 World Cup. Coming into the game, the women in blue had an excellent game against arch-rivals Pakistan as they won the match by 107 runs. Unfortunately, team India couldn’t replicate that performance against New Zealand. With the ball, India were able to restrict mighty Kiwis for 260. But, the batting department once again didn’t step up resulting in the defeat.
While talking about the batting in a post-match interview, captain Mithali Raj who was leading the side for the 150th time said, “We needed one of the batters to bat deep. There was a lot of extra bounce under lights, nothing unplayable but we could have done better. The batting needs to get better. The bowlers have done well today, they did well last game too.”
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India batting coach S S Das during the post-match conference had the following words regarding team India’s lack of intent in the batting. He said, “The top-order has to fire and we have the batting firepower to go deeper in the tournament. Once you get going in the first 10-15 overs, I think we can put up a good score on the board. I think the main part is also the strike rate, which has been a worry for us. We play West Indies in a day, so we will definitely come back stronger.”
While talking about the approach in the first 10-15 overs, Das said, ”I don’t think it was a tactical weakness. New Zealand bowled well in that phase. In the first 10-15 overs, they bowled well. They bowled tight lines. Our focus is on (improving in) the first 10-15 overs. Like I said, we have the experience and the batting, we just have to express in the next game.”
On the decision to drop Shafali Verma after one innings in the World Cup, Das clarified that she was dropped after being provided a fair chance in the last seven to eight games, across the bilateral series and warm-up games.
“To get the runs, we needed to give her a break. She is a really talented batter. I hope in this break, she can get going and hopefully, will come back stronger in the few (remaining) games.”
White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr, who scored 353 runs including three half-centuries and an unbeaten 119-run knock in the bilateral ODI series against India, scored another half-century today and picked up bowling figures 3/56.
Answering a question about what plans the team had in place for Kerr ahead of the match, the coach said, “We had some plans for her but the wicket was good to start with and she did bat well. Bowling wise, she has got variety and she did a great job for her team.”
“In the whole series against New Zealand, we picked up a few variations (of her bowling) during the matches, we saw a lot of videos. I think it is just a matter of picking the right line and right length. In the games we played against her, she bowled really well to our batters.”
Team India must make sure to come back from this below-par batting performance against New Zealand and score well against West Indies on Saturday, 12th March at the same ground at Hamilton.
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