The Indian girls’s cricket group defeated Australia within the third ODI of the three-match sequence. Hosts Australia gained the sequence 2-1, however not earlier than their 26-match profitable streak was ended by a plucky Indian group within the closing match.
India in fact may have gained 2-1 themselves had it not been for a sequence of fielding errors and a controversial no-ball that allowed Australia to win off the final ball within the 2nd ODI.
The three-match sequence encapsulated the perfect and worst of Indian girls’s cricket of the final 5 years. There was a one-sided loss, a defeat from the jaws of victory, and a heroic comeback that exposed the potential within the younger Indian aspect.
For many who watched cricket within the 90s, this was very harking back to the roller-coaster journey of the Indian males’s group throughout that decade.
As a 15-year outdated in 2019, Shafali Verma grew to become the youngest ever cricketer characterize India within the T20s. She took to worldwide cricket like a duck to water and was one of many greatest stars to emerge from the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020.
A prodigious younger batter smashing the perfect bowlers of the world to all corners of the bottom is nothing new for Indian followers. Shafali’s batting model bears greater than a passing resemblance to a younger Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag.
Shafali in fact made her ODI debut solely earlier this 12 months and is but to develop into an irreplaceable fulcrum like Sachin however the group is more and more counting on her blazing begins on the high of the order and can achieve this within the foreseeable future. As an illustration, her absence was missed within the ODI sequence vs South Africa earlier this 12 months.
Center order muddle
The 90s Indian group had gifted youthful batsmen corresponding to Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Kambli, and Jadeja led by a veteran in (pre-fixing) Azharuddin, however the entire may by no means develop into higher than the sum of the elements.
The current girls’s group equally has Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, and new finds Richa Ghosh and Yashika Bhatia led by veterans Mithali and Harmanpreet. This group is but to coalesce right into a constant batting unit corresponding to England’s or Australia’s.
Lack of bowling depth
Jhulan Goswami has been carrying the torch of ladies’s tempo bowling in India for nearly 2 a long time now. That she continues to be going robust is a tribute to her dedication and willpower. What’s of notice although is that no teenager has fairly challenged her ODI place throughout this time. Shikha Pandey, herself 32, is just not assured a spot within the XI.
Then again, India is reliant on spinners corresponding to Deepti, Poonam Yadav, Ekta Bisht, Sneh Rana, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad to finish the overs which might not be the perfect technique on all surfaces.
Desire for spin over tempo is a long-standing custom in Indian cricket that was damaged solely very just lately within the males’s group. It’s going to take time for ladies’s cricket to catch up.
Nothing epitomizes the worst of 90s Indian cricket greater than misfields, missed run-outs, dropped catches and poor working between wickets. Many video games in the course of the period have been misplaced to higher fielding sides corresponding to South Africa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
These tendencies have been on full show in the course of the current India-Australia 2nd ODI the place Beth Mooney and Australia have been capable of overcome a stiff required-rate because of the generosity proven by Indian fielders.
One other very 90s-trait. The identical Indian group that might go from a from 98-1 to 120-8 collapse at Eden Gardens to discovering final ball heroes in Rajesh Chauhan and Hrishikesh Kanitar, may all of the sudden lose a heap of wickets in an important World Cup match towards Zimbabwe.
Inconsistency has been the largest bane of Indian girls’s cricket in recent times. The group infamously bottled a run chase within the 2017 Girls’s World Cup finals towards England (a group they’d beforehand overwhelmed within the match) after Harmanpreet’s 171 not out within the semis vs Australia had dared the nation to dream.
The identical occurred in September 2021 the place Jhulan’s batting bought India over the road within the third ODI after her disastrous closing over within the 2nd. The identical situation will probably repeat within the coming months until the BCCI will get it’s act collectively.
The above was in fact not a literal comparability, for instance the current girls’s group has a lot of all-rounders, however the broad story-lines are very a lot current. So can a Girls’s IPL assist the women in getting out of the 90s time-loop? We are going to discover out in a subsequent article.
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