The Bitter-Sweet Journey of Women in Blue in World Cup 2022

Team India had a heartbreaking World Cup campaign. The 2017 WC finalists were expected to finish in the top 4 and make it to the Semis. But, fate had other plans as team India lost their must-win game against South Africa thus finishing at the 5th spot with 3 wins and 4 losses.

 

South Africa beat India by 3 Wickets in a thriller. PC: ICC/Getty Images
South Africa beat India by 3 Wickets in a thriller. PC: ICC/Getty Images

 

They started the world cup in style as they defeated Pakistan in the first match by 107 runs thanks to Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar’s record-breaking partnership. Then, they convincingly lost to New Zealand as the batting failed to perform against an in-form Kiwi bowling. They lost the game by 62 runs as they were bundled out for 198. Harmanpreet Kaur was the sole positive as she scored a fabulous 71.

A couple of days later, team India came back strong as they defeated West Indies by a whopping 155 runs. Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur scored 123 and 109 respectively taking India to a big score of 317 in 50 overs. Sneh Rana and Meghna Singh took 3 and 2 wickets each.

Then, they lost 2 back to back games against 2 big sides in England and Australia. The batting crumbled in front of English spin as team India was bowled out for 134. The bowlers tried to restrict, but the score was too small on the board resulting in team India losing the match. Meghna Singh impressed with a magnificent 3 for 26 with the ball. Following this big defeat, team India lost to Australia after putting up a good score on the board.

The India batting performed well for the first time in the tournament as Mithali Raj and Yastika Bhatia scored 68 and 59. Harmanpreet Kaur finished off in style with a fine 57* taking team India to 277 in 50 overs. The Australian batters smashed the Indian bowling. Meg Lanning scored a match-winning 97 and Alyssa Healy gave a good start and scored 72 making it easy for the rest of the batting to chase the score. Australia won the match convincingly by 6 wickets putting team India in a must-win situation as they had won their last 2 matches against Bangladesh and South Africa.

Also Read:  "It is important to have Sports Psychologists traveling with the team”, says Mithali Raj

 

Meg Lanning's 97 help Australia book their Semi-Final Berth. PC: ICC/Getty
Meg Lanning’s 97 help Australia book their Semi-Final Berth. PC: ICC/Getty

 

They impressively defeated Bangladesh as they bundled them out 119 and won the match by 110 runs helping the team maintain a positive NRR. Yastika Bhatia scored a fine 50 and Sneh Rana took a magnificent 4 for 30 with the ball.

In the last match of the league stage, team India faced South Africa. They had to win this game to qualify for the Semi-Finals. The batter played well and posted a good score of 273 on the board. Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, and Mithali Raj scored beautiful fifties. For, Laura Wolvaardt led the batting scoring a fabulous 80. Mignon du Preez who had was going through a black patch stepped up and scored a 50 thus taking her side home in the very last ball of the match resulting in team India not making it to the Semi-Finals.

Overall, team India was inconsistent throughout the 2022 World Cup as batting didn’t perform to its standards just like New Zealand. The bowlers were good and Meghna Singh was the breakout star for the team. Harmanpreet Kaur stepped up in the World Cup once again and scored 318 runs with 2 fifties and a century.

There were some big milestones during the tournament. Jhulan Goswami broke several records as she became the most successful bowler in World Cup with 41 wickets. She also completed 250 ODI and 350 International wickets. Smriti Mandhana completed 5000 international runs and Mithali Raj appeared in her record 6th World Cup.

 

Mithali Raj completes her 61st ODI Half-Century. PC: Twitter
Mithali Raj completes her 61st ODI Half-Century. PC: Twitter

 

As we move forward to the future, the Indian women’s team will certainly miss Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami as they’re expected to retire. Team India now has a task to find replacements for these 2 big names and name a new captain for the team moving. There are a few names in contention, let us see who’ll lead the Indian Women’s moving forward.

Also Read:  Summary: Final: Sensational Shafali steals the show with her gutsy 89 off just 48 balls

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Dhanush Lavanya

I’m a Content Writer, Podcaster and Presenter. I’ve written 100+ articles across various sports and produced 50+ Podcast episodes. You can find my podcast “The Off Stump” on Spotify.

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