On March 10, India lost to New Zealand by 62 runs in their second match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Chasing 261, India were bowled out for 198 in 46.4 overs as the batters failed to click.
After the match day, India’s head coach Ramesh Powar addressed a virtual press conference on Friday. Powar expressed his views on what went wrong for India against the White Ferns. It was evident from Powar’s answers that he was surprised with India’s approach in the first 20 overs of the run chase. India scored just 50 odd runs in 20 overs at the loss of two wickets. According to Powar, things didn’t go India’s way with the bat.
On Team India’s Opening Concern
He said, “If you look back at the last six games we played against New Zealand, we were executing our plans well. I think it is the pressure of the World Cup but I don’t want to give any excuses. We’ve been to England and Australia in the last six months and came to NZ early, we got every practice opportunity that was needed. So it is time as a group to stand up and deliver.”
On dropping Shafali Verma
Powar was also quizzed about India’s strategy of opting for three left-handers at number one, two, and three batting positions. He answered that Shafali Verma was not in the best of forms and it was decided by the team management to give her a bit of a break. Shafali was replaced by Yastika Bhatia, who has been relatively more consistent in ODIs compared to Verma in the recent past.
On Harmanpreet Kaur’s 71 Runs
Though India’s batting was falling apart against New Zealand on Thursday, vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur stood like a lone warrior as she muscled a delectable 71 off 63 balls. Powar said, “I coached her in 2018 so I know her capabilities, she can win you games singlehandedly. Moving forward, I expect her to be consistent.” He further added that he expects India’s top five to be as consistent as possible in the tournament ahead.
On Lefty-Righty Batting Combination
At the end of the interaction, when Powar was asked whether he would be changing the team combination since India will be playing West Indies next, given that West Indies have three off-spinners in the side, he said, “Not really. If we have three left-armers against us, will we change the batting order? No. See I trust my batting unit.” He also accepted that it was perhaps wrong to have three left-handers in a row at the top and moving forward, team India will be addressing this issue.
So far, India have played two matches in their World Cup campaign. The Women in Blue have won one against Pakistan and lost one against New Zealand. They take on the West Indies on March 12 at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
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