Team India: To hold the World T20 trophy aloft all the departments have to work in synergy. The Women in blue are ranked 4th on the T20 rankings for teams but can they be considered favourites? The answer, erm.. would be a big blatant NO. While the ladies in blue have some of the finest individual performers in Women’s cricket, the middle & lower middle-order seems rather feeble. The blue squad is prone to collapses & on the world stage where the margin for an error is ridiculously minimal, the team has to nourish their weaker areas.
The dress rehearsal included the participation with two of the best units in the business. Again, there was no middle ground to team India’s performances. It was either world-class or extremely poor. In the finals, after a stunning batting effort from Smriti Mandhana, the team was brushed off like a pack of cards. India lost 7 wickets for 29 runs eventually losing the game by 11 runs.
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MIDDLE ORDER WOES
Since 2019, team India has won 10 & lost 10. The top order has scored 60.9% of the teams’ runs, the middle order a mere 32.6% & the tail has been in abysmal touch. The last 4 batters haven’t been able to compute only 6.4%.
There could be a pattern that might define the Indian batting line-up. A quickfire 60 from Smriti Mandhana, a 20-ball 40 from the 17-year-old Shafali Verma & a big knock from the Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. Jemimah also could muster a classy 40 but barring these 4, the other Indian batters seem extremely fragile.
Off the middle orders from the top 4 teams in the World, stats deem the Indian contingent the least effective. In 19 innings the middle order could only add 751 runs. The average runs/wicket is the lowest – a meagre 15.3 runs/wicket & a delicate strike-rate of 89.1. The balls/boundary percentage is also debilitated by the lack of quality in the middle order. It’s a low 12 balls/boundary.
Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy
(Head coach: WV Raman)
|21-02-2020||1:30 PM||Australia vs India||Sydney Showground Stadium|
|24-02-2020||4:30 PM||Bangladesh vs India||WACA|
|27-02-2020||8:30 AM||India vs New Zealand||Junction Oval|
|29-02-2020||1:30 PM||India vs Sri Lanka||Junction Oval|
The rub of the green has to go India’s way for them to qualify for the finals. On slightly, less lucky days, the inconsistency & the lack of experience might just prove to be India’s biggest frailty.
INDIA IN T20 WORLD CUPS
Team India has made it to the top 4 thrice (2009, 2010 & 2018) across the 6 editions so far. Their 2018 run was rounded by the scathing controversy surrounding Mithali Raj’s omission from the team. India did manage to beat Australia & New Zealand in their run to the semi-finals but were pummeled by a well-oiled English side.
KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The onus will be on Smriti Mandhana to fire at the top of the innings. The southpaw will look to cash in her WBBL experience & also her splendid form. Mandhana topped the run-charts in the recently concluded tri-series & will be India’s key batter to watch out for. Another left-hander team India will rely on, in all three disciplines is Deepti Sharma. The all-rounder can provide the impetus India needs in the middle order, she’s a sprightly fielder & her bowling skills have only improved with time. If Sharma can absorb the pressure & finish games, she can prove to be the difference-maker.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the skipper, also has to bring her A-game every time she takes the field. Since 2019, Kaur’s strike-rate after 17 matches is less than a run-a-ball. Her boundary hitting prowess seems to have mellowed down. While Mandhana has hit 97 boundaries in the same period, Kaur could only churn 32.
Jemimah Rodrigues has been a part of the top 4 for quite some time & on turfs where fast bowlers are bound to get more assistance, the supple batter has to up her game against pacers. Since 2019, Jemimah’s record against pace hasn’t been rather abysmal. She’s been dismissed 6 times by right-arm pacers & her strike-rate whilst facing them has fallen down to 95.5. Her strike-rate against right-arm pacers in T20Is(overall) is 122.6.
|Player||Versus||Overall(Runs)||Since 2019(Runs)||Overall(S/R)||Since 2019(S/R)|
|Jemimah Rodrigues||v Right Arm Pacers||304||106||122.6||95.5|
|Jemimah Rodrigues||v Off Spinners||174||50||117.6||122|
|Jemimah Rodrigues||v Leg Spinners||102||41||121.4||136.7|
|Jemimah Rodrigues||v Orthodox||47||9||106.8||75|
|Jemimah Rodrigues||v Left Arm Pacers||27||135|
Jemimah’s got quality & on her day she can be the player to watch out for.
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