England Women’s Cricket team outplayed the Indian Women’s Cricket team in the third T20I of the ENGW vs INDW series to clinch the series by 2-1. Batting first, India scored only 122, all thanks to lower-order power hitting by young wicket-keeper batter Richa Ghosh (33 off 22) and Pooja Vastrakar (19* off 11). England batters chased the score with ease as Sophia Dunkley (49 off 44) guided the home team home.
As the Indian Women’s Cricket team prepares for another T20 World Cup, former India cricketer Gargi Banerjee could not see any planning from the team management and batters. Shafali Verma, who was looked at as the power hitter at the top, lacked consistency in the last 12 months. In the last 12 months, in 15 T20I innings, Verma averages only 17.33 with the bat. Even without the boundaries hit, Shafali looked like a “tail-ender” at the top.
“Every opponent has seen her game now. They know how to plan and bowl against her. But Shafali is not learning. It’s been 40 games she has already played for India. I do not know why the team management is continuing with her. We can try Richa at the top if the team wants some power-hitting at the top. And, if you want a steady starter, you can try Deepti (Sharma) for that matter,” said Gargi Banerjee in an exclusive interview with Sportz Point.
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In this ENGW vs INDW T20I series, India made some experiments with their batting order. Dayalan Hemalatha was given another chance to make her mark in international cricket, but, failed. Even, S. Meghan’s promotion up the order did not work well for Harmanpreet and the company. Gargi Banerjee could not find any “logic” behind these experiments as well.
“We are nearing the World Cup. Every year we make these experiments and then try to make a team at the last moment. This does not work. Look at England. How professional they looked in their planning and approach. They had everything planned out. You are trying out Hemalatha who does not have a great domestic record as well. Why did they drop Navgire, just after two matches? She proved her worth in the Women’s T20 Challenge. I do not know what is going on,” Gargi Banerjee sounded upset.
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In the bowling, though Radha Yadav looked the better bowler from India, throughout the series, others have been very much inconsistent with their accuracy. “Look at stats of their bowlers and our bowlers. Lok at the economy rates. They will have to be consistent with their line and lengths. You can not keep going like this. They are beating us without a few of their main players,” Gargi Banerjee added.
“We were 20 runs short today but credit to our bowlers. Because of them we were in the game. [On Radha’s bowling] She is someone who wants to give 200%. We love to have characters like her in the team. Even Richa batted well especially after losing quick wickets. Because of them we could fight till the last ball. We need to stick to our strengths. We were not able to bat the way we would have liked to today. If we can build more partnership, that can give us good motivation to fight.”
Harmanpreet Kaur, Indian captain in the post-match presentation.
With the next T20 World Cup only 5-months away, Gargi Banerjee feels India now should to look find a solid team combination and stick to it. According to her, a set team will have to play more matches and win more to gain confidence before the upcoming World Cup.
India will be starting their ODI series on Sunday against England Women’s. Indian cricket legend Jhulan Goswami will be playing her last series before he bids adieu to the game. Gargi Banerjee wished Jhulan all the best for the last series of her career.
Brief stats from the ENGW vs INDW T20I series:
Player of the series: Sophia Dunkley
Most runs in the series: Sophia Dunkley, 115 runs
Most wickets in the series: Sarah Glenn, 6 wickets