Areas of Concern for India ahead of T20 World Cup 2023?

A tri-series featuring hosts South Africa, India, and West Indies saw the hosts and the Women in Blue make it to the finals on the back of good performances in the group stages. However, Team India lost to South Africa in the tri-series finals, which raised more questions ahead of the World Cup that India will certainly look to answer!

Indian Women's Cricket Team. PC: Getty Images
Indian Women’s Cricket Team. PC: Getty Images

 

  1. Good display of cricket in the lead-up to the finals: India can certainly laud themselves for playing an excellent brand of cricket throughout the tri-series that saw them go to the finals unbeaten and on the back of some phenomenal wins. However, they faced a tough test in the form of South Africa, who were looking to make a statement in their home conditions and were handed a loss in the finals.

  2. Fast bowling stocks: India’s famed fast bowlers were tested in the tricky and unknown conditions of South Africa. The likes of Renuka Singh Thakur, the returning Pooja Vastrakar, and Anjali Sarvani faced an acid test, and this was particularly evident throughout the series as they were rendered ineffective more often than not. In the absence of a bowling coach, India has been struggling, and perhaps a little more of introspection should help India figure out a course of action.

  3. Inability to capitalize on quick wickets: Another common trend that raised eyebrows and was highlighted during the Finals was how, although India got the breakthroughs and got early wickets, the inability to capitalize and dismiss set batters came to bite them later. Chloe Tryon was initially taking time to settle in, and it was much later she came on her own and batted with a lot of poise and elegance that took the match away from India, something they will have to work on going forward.

  4. India’s batting approach: India’s batting approach was massively tested in the series, and in the absence of the star duo of Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh, India tried the combination of bringing Jemimah Rodrigues to open with Smriti Mandhana. This meant Harleen Deol, Harmanpreet Kaur, Yastika Bhatia, Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakrar were the next few batters. In the finals, we saw how a conservative and defensive approach proved to be counterproductive for Team India. Even the overdependence on Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur seemed obvious, and others will have to step up and deliver.

  5. Deepti Sharma’s form: Another positive for Team India has to be the form of Deepti Sharma. Her disciplined bowling performance, besides the streak of scalping wickets, has augured well for India, and in this series, having pocketed 9 wickets at a miserly average of 9.89, she shined with the ball. For her remarkable all-round performance, she was awarded the Player of the Tournament award, and with even Sneh Rana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Devika Vaidya chipping in with crucial wickets, India looked solid in the spin bowling department.

  6. Where will Jemimah find herself once Shafali Verma is back?: In the absence of Shafali Verma, who was playing for the India U19 team, Jemimah Rodrigues opened the innings with Smriti Mandhana, which meant Harleen Deol coming in at three. Deol scored 79 runs in the series in her four outings, while Rodrigues scored 57 runs in four innings. It will be interesting to see the combination that Team India would opt for.

  7. Why wasn’t Amanjot Kaur not used enough?- What was quite surprising was how the talented Amanjot Kaur was not given the long rope through the tri-series, which was very surprising, to say the least. Her 41 versus South Africa was a brilliant knock, and it was her acceleration and the zeal to score the runs which made her stand out and with her medium-pace bowling also helping, India should have given her the longer rope.

  8. Additions of Richa Ghosh and Shafali Verma to the playing 11: With the dynamic duo of Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh waltzing their way back to the team, rest assured India’s batting will be bolstered, and with their firepower and attacking game, India will benefit massively, and they were sorely missed during the tri-series

I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.

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