No trophy in 44 years, why is no one asking questions to India women's cricket team after the world cup?

Indian women's cricket team again failed to win the silverware despite a great preparation schedule by BCCI.

Koushik Biswas
New Update
No trophy in 44 years, why is no one asking questions to India women's cricket team after the world cup? | Sportz Point

Indian Women's Cricket Team has been playing the ICC Women's World Cup since 1978. Yes, we have been playing the women's world cup for the last 44 years. But We have not managed to win a single silverware yet. Why? Why are we not producing results? Has somebody raised that question to the team management? To the players? There have been a few questions asked here and there. But the voice has not reached millions yet. After another disappointing end to this year's Women's World Cup, the team should be answerable to every question that the men's team get asked every time they fail. The team management and players are answerable to BCCI and the fans for their performance in the world cup.

No trophy in 44 years, why is no one asking questions to India women's cricket team after the world cup?| ICC Women's World Cup 2022 | Sportz Point

Indian Women's Cricketers in the match against South Africa

Why should the questions be asked?

Well, the first question that will arise in someone's mind is why we should think and ask questions about women's cricket. Men's cricket produces lots of money, and thus they are only answerable to everyone's questions. Well, let us give you a stat based on women's cricket.

The overall prize money in the 2013 Women's World Cup was $200,000. In 2017, that increased 10 fold and became $2 million. In 2022, that increased to $3.5 million, nearly double the last year. So, in just 9 years the overall prize money has increased by nearly 20 folds. Not only that, in this world cup the runners up will get $600,000, and the losing semi-finalists will get $300,000. Moreover, the losing teams from the group stage will also get $70,000, double of last World Cup ($30,000).

With so much money involved in women's cricket now, don't you think there should be more questions asked, more scrutiny should be done and more reports should come on the failures the team had?

Yes, men's cricket is producing more. But, with the rapid growth women's cricket has, they should too go under the scanner.

Interestingly, ICC is also hopeful to "Balance The Prize Money Difference Between Men And Women". So, a lot is at stake when we talk about women's cricket in recent years and its future.

No results despite great preparation schedule by BCCI

India were among the teams who had the best time, schedule and conditions to prepare themselves. The team toured South Africa, England, Australia and World Cup hosts New Zealand prior to the World Cup to prepare themselves against the best in business. Even after that, the team could not get over the line despite a great schedule by the BCCI.

Read Also: ICC Women's World Cup 2022, Final: Australia Women vs England Women Full Preview, Probable XIs, Pitch Report, and Dream11 Team Prediction

India's performance in every Women's cricket world cup

India's performance in Every Women's World Cup | ICC Women's World Cup 2022 | Sportz Point

India's performance in the Women's World Cup.

Dependency on star players since the 2000s

Over the years India has not been able to find contemporaries of Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami when it comes to ICC events. Though we have Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur to complement Mithali Raj's batting style, there is none in the bowling department. There is no one even close to Jhulan Goswami in discipline, consistency and performance.

Name Matches Runs Average
Mithali Raj 38 1321 47.17
Harmanpreet Kaur 26 876 51.52
Anjum Chopra 26 619 29.47
Most runs for India in te Women's World Cup
Name Matches Wickets Economy
Jhulan Goswami 34 43 3.45
Diana Edulji 22 31 2.02
Purnima Rau 19 30 2.86
Leading wicket-takers for India in Women's World Cup. 

From the above table, it can be seen that except for Harmanpreet Kaur no recent year players went close to Mithali Raj or Jhulan Goswami. That suggests players who debuted 10-15 years ago were not consistent enough at the international level to play more matches in world cups. Moreover, those who played in the World Cup did not perform that well. Thus, India failed to build a core team around Mithali and Jhulan which teams like Australia or England have.

If we check all-time stats for both batting and bowling, we will see only 2 Indian batters and bowlers in the top 10. Meanwhile, multiple England and Australian players feature with a close gap among themselves. That shows both those teams have had multiple match-winners over the years for them.

Another stat to look for: Smriti Mandhana has scored 23.67% of India's runs when India won a match since her debut.

So it proves how India has been dependent on their star players to perform to win matches.

Unsettled squad

Here are a few players that team India tried and tested in recent years for the national team - Jemimah Rodrigues, Yastika Bhatia, Harleen Deol, Taniya Bhatia, Richa Ghosh, Nuzhat Parween, Sneh Rana, Radha Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh Thakur.

Even though every team gets the same amount of time to prepare for a world cup, the Indian team management has somehow failed to make a solid bench and create a settled squad in that time period. Regular change and chops have been a problem for the team with so many players getting dropped only after playing one or two matches. It is quite obvious to say, the players have not also raised their hands up and performed well when they were given a chance. So, the question now arises, is there a flaw in team management to select and nourish the right talents?

Well, we do not know who will answer it and when it will be answered.

Read Also: Harmanpreet Kaur: What makes her different from others?

Choking against Australia, England and New Zealand

Choking against Australia, England and New Zealand | Indian Women's Cricket Team | Sportz Point

Rajeshwari Gayakwad had a stellar performance against Pakistan but failed against Australia and England. Image -ESPNCricinfo

Although India has always been dominating against Asian teams, they have always failed to perform against tougher opponents like Australia, England and New Zealand. Below are a few stats to consider of all the bowlers except Jhulan Goswami who was in the team for the World Cup. From the above stats, it can be very easily observed that every bowler lacked control, wicket tacking ability and discipline when it came to performing against Australia, England and New Zealand. The stats are quite the same for most of the batters as well.

Name Matches Wickets Average Economy
Meghna Singh (overall) 11 10 39.70 5.34
Meghna Singh (against Aus, NZ, Eng) 8 7 44.57 5.63

Name Matches Wickets Average Economy
Rajeshwari Gayakwad (overall) 58 92 20.03 3.51
Rajeshwari Gayakwad (against Aus, NZ, Eng) 25 36 25.61 4.25

Name Matches Wickets Average Economy
Sneh Rana (overall) 21 23 33.00 4.55
Sneh Rana (against Aus, NZ, Eng) 14 10 56.30 5.36

Name Matches Wickets Average Economy
Deepti Sharma (overall) 74 81 31.25 4.20
Deepti Sharma (against Aus, NZ, Eng) 33 38 35.05 5.11

Name Matches Wickets Average Economy
Poonam Yadav (overall) 58 80 25.15 3.97
Poonam Yadav (against Aus, NZ, Eng) 26 33 32.81 4.88

Who plays where?

Mithali at 3? Or at 4? Or maybe Deepti Sharma at 3? The Indian Women's team saw a ridiculous number of position changes when it came to the batting order. No one looked settled at one position except Smriti Mandhana who was India's highest run getter (327) in the Women's World Cup 2022. Hence, the tournament was all over for the players even before they could even know their position in the team. Not only in batting, but bowling also suffered the same way somehow. The team sure lacked planning. It was quite fair to say, India did not have a plan B, only if they had a plan A.

Inexperienced Squad!

Jhulan and Mithali's last world cup lacked what Sachin's last world cup had. MS Dhoni's team had experience and a bit of youth in it. Players like Meghna Singh, Yastika Bhatia, and Renuka Singh all were selected for the World Cup team even without proper experience in international cricket. 

Renuka Singh had only played "2 WODI" matches before getting selected for the tournament. Meghna Singh had played only "5 WODI" matches before playing her first match in the world cup. Meanwhile, Yastika Bhatia had played only "7 WODI" before her first match in the tournament.

You might need the excitement of youth, but to win a world cup, you at least need a proper taste of International cricket.

3D or bits and pieces players?

If you are Ambati Rayudu, you have heard about the term "3D player." Even if you are not you might have heard that as well. The current Indian Women's team had three all-rounders in their playing XI. Yes, it helped India strengthen their tail, but the team lacked the ability to take wickets when needed the most.

"Looking ahead, I would like to see more specialists in the team. Play seven batters including the wicketkeeper and five bowlers. Out of the five bowlers one can be an all-rounder but not more than that. You need to have specialists to take wickets," former chief selector Hemlata Kala said in an interview with PTI.

Players that were not looked into

The team management had given chances to many players while preparing for the world cup. But, who was left? S. Meghna who averaged 38 against New Zealand prior to the World Cup, was not trusted for the World Cup. Meghna also has a List-A record of 1848 at 31.32. Simran Dil Bahadur who is too regarded as one of the brightest talents of the Indian domestic circuit was only given one match to play and then get dropped. Dil Bahadur since debuting in the domestic circuit in the 2018-19 season has done well. Meanwhile, medium-pacer Arundhati Reddy did not get any match despite being with the team most of the time.

Even players who were selected in bi-lateral series for the preparation for the world cup were only given 2 or 3 matches in between. Although there was a hiccup in the process due to covid, when other teams can build great bench strength, why can't India? Proper chances and nourishment were needed to create a better bench.

Read Also: "In India, there is a question mark over everything women do:" Jhulan Goswami

Rifts in the team?

Rifts between senior cricketers in team games are something that can happen at the amateur level. But, according to some reports, there was a rift between the two senior-most cricketers in the team. When you are playing a tournament like the World Cup, you can not expect these things to happen and then win the trophy against teams like Australia and England.

Why aren't we fit enough?

"It all comes down to fitness. When you compare with top teams like Australia and England, India's fitness is simply not up to the mark. We need to focus more on strength and conditioning. It is only when their fitness improves, that they would be able to field and run between wickets like a professional outfit. They were fumbling too much in the field and dropped sitters," former India captain Diana Edulji said to PTI after India's exit from the tournament.

Former India cricketer Gargi Banerjee also had said, "fielding and fitness that need to get better at first" in an exclusive interview with us post-India's exit from the tournament.

So, it is quite obvious that the players (except a few ones) are not fit enough at the international level. If India wants to do well in the next World Cup, they need to be fitter, stronger and quicker. But, the question will that happen? Only time will tell.

What's after Mithali and Jhulan?

Even if both the legends are good enough to pile runs for India or take wickets for India, the team management will have to look into the future of the Indian Women's cricket team.

According to Diana Edulji, "Mithali and Jhulan have been among the best to have played the game for India but if they don't announce their retirement anytime soon, BCCI should take a call on them soon. We need to plan for the future".

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