South African series was disappointing with the ball and the English tour turns out disappointing with the bat.
2 wins in the last 8 odi games alarm a change in approach for the Indian women’s team. India played 5 odi’s vs South Africa at home early this year and a match win was all they could manage as South Africa won the series 4-1, it was a controversial tour for various reasons but good changes were made for the English tour but the results have not come India’s way as the odi series end 2-1 in England’s favour.
India’s defensive approach with the bat, strike rate of players and especially the experienced middle order failed to impress costed the series. Mithali Raj kept the runs coming but the innings was paced a bit too slow though she managed well in the following games to get the scoring at a decent rate. Punam Raut has been struggling ever since the English tour started, during the test match she never looked in her zone and the same in odi’s saw her sit out after 1 bad outing. Harmanpreet Kaur has had her own struggle since a couple of years, there have been partnerships and small knocks but an impact innings is yet due. The middle order being too defensive to start off, the dot ball pressure comes in and looking to accelerate wickets fall and India is pushed on the backfoot.
Lower order and the tail has not been too poor, there have been few small partnerships and some runs from the tailenders but a destructive and disturbing cameo wasn’t on show expect for one by Sneh Rana during the 3rd odi. The bowling too has not been on mark. Shikha Pandey on her return looked a bit off colour towards the start but did look in good shape during the last odi. Jhulan Goswami has been bowling well but the wickets have not come her way, if they have the support is never met from the other end. Spinners Deepti, Punam and Sneh have not quite got the ball pitching on the right spot, England have comfortably been playing them and have not failed on scoring opportunities.
Taniya Bhatia has been excellent behind the stumps, runs from Taniya were a concern and so they remain on her comeback. She’s only had a good innings so far, lack of clarity on her batting position and role has always been a major talking. She’s come out to bat even after a couple of tailenders have departed, she’s surely not benefited and often finds her in a tangle. If keeping’s her only role and not batting, she’s been the highest or equally ranked player on this tour. She’s just looked better and sharper then before.
South Africa home series saw bowling failures with the key bowlers being dropped, they were bought back for the English tour and only the 3rd odi showed some challenge possessed by the Indian bowlers. Batting strike rate which was good during the South African series has dipped in the English conditions. With 3 T20’s lined up the series is yet alive.
With the world cup few months down the line India are left with a lot to answer and would wish to fill the loop holes before or during the Australia tour as they need to be sure of a strong XI by the end of Australia tour as by then the world cup would stand few months away and a same set of XI would want to be taking field to have clarity on roles.