India women’s cricket team hopes for change in fortunes against England
Harmanpreet Kaur’s India women’s cricket team will need to improve in all three departments if it is to avoid a repeat of the six-wicket defeat to Australia at the Brabourne Stadium, when it takes on England on Sunday.cricket Updated: Mar 24, 2018 18:55 IST
India lost to Australia in the women’s T20 tri-series opener, and England then upstaged the Aussies in the next game. As India face England in their second game on Sunday, they have their task cut out against the 50-over World Cup winners.
England, having upset favourites Australia, will be upbeat about their chances against the hosts, who have tasted four defeats in a row across ODIs and T20s in the last two weeks.
India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur acknowledged the threat an in-form England posed. The 29-year-old though believes India showed enough improvement in their last game and can turn around their fortunes on Sunday.
“England played really well against Australia. We need to raise our level to beat them. We have improved from where we were during ODIs. Though we lost against Australia in the first match, there were moments when we did really well. We just need to ensure we don’t lose momentum once we have it,” she told reporters after India’s training at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday.
“Our fielding has also improved. We were very shoddy during the ODIs, but did well in the first match. Smriti (Mandhana) and Jhulu didi (Jhulan Goswami) were outstanding with bat and ball respectively. We need others to take a leaf out of their books,” she added.
In the previous matches, both England and Australia adopted the strategy of sending power-hitters at the top of the order. It paid them rich dividends. With short boundaries, making full use of power-play overs has become very important.
Harmanpreet doesn’t want to tinker much with the batting order, but is aware of the emergence of power game in women’s cricket. So, she wants her players to take full advantage of power-play overs as well.
“Yes, power game has come to women’s cricket and chasing 150 has become easy, especially on pitches like this. If we bat first, we have to aim for 180. Power-play overs are extremely crucial and we have to ensure we take full advantage of these overs when we bat well. While bowling, we have to ensure the opposition doesn’t run away with the game in the first six overs.”
India will be playing back-to-back games as they face Australia on Monday. Harmanpreet though has no complaints.
“Fatigue is not a factor. Playing back-to-back games is not an issue. It’s new, and a learning experience, for us.”