Ind vs Aus – 5th T20I women

Greater depth in the bowling department is key going forward, Harmanpreet Kaur said after India lost their T20I series at home to Australia 4-1. The fast bowlers will be fine-tuned when India fly to South Africa for a tri-series – also with the West Indies – next month and then contest the T20 World Cup, also in South Africa, in february.

With Pooja Vastrakar injured, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh and Anjali Sarvani were the main rapids for the Indian team. Renuka and Sarvani played all five games, but Meghna was dropped after conceding 41 runs in three overs without a wicket in two games.

“In South Africa, sewing will have more effect than spin bowling,” Harmanpreet pointed out after the 54-point loss in the fifth T20I on Tuesday. “That’s why we started with Meghna, but sometimes the player is not able to play as expected.

“Pooja will join the team [upon recovery], and it will fill that area. His one or two overs are important. In this series, we used extra-medium pacers, whom we watched closely. We are working on it and will try to cover these areas.”

India also had quick left-arms Monica Patel – who played two ODIs against South Africa last year – and Sraddha Pokharkar, except for right-arms Arundhati Reddy and Simran Bahadur, as net bowlers during the series.

But they were without a bowling coach during the series, after Ramesh Powar – the former head coach, who also handled bowling – transferred to BCCI’s National Cricket Academy. It was a high-scoring series in which Australia broke the 170-point mark in every game. India also topped 150 in all but the last game, where they were knocked out for 142. A total of 47 sixes were hit overall – a record in a women’s T20I bilateral series – across the five games.

A pattern to emerge was that India largely kept Australia in check until 12 overs, but lost control afterwards. Their save rate over the final eight overs of the series was 12.26, compared to Australia’s 9.37.

“We will now analyze who can play after ten overs and in the death overs. We discussed it in team meetings, but when you’re on a streak you don’t have a lot of time to execute those things”

Harmanpreet Kaur

“We do well in the first ten overs and we don’t give them easy runs. But after the tenth over, suddenly things change,” Harmanpreet said. “We planned a lot of things, but we weren’t able to execute them. Previously, the first six overs was the area we wanted to improve as a team. Now we are getting results in the top six.

“We will now analyze who can play after ten overs and in the death overs. We discussed it in team meetings, but when you’re on a streak you don’t have a lot of time to execute those things.

Renuka, who was a success on the power play with his ability to swing the new ball, was used in the deathmatch against Australia. Her save rate in this phase, where she only got one wicket, was 10.87. Most, albeit marginal, for Indian bowlers to have bowled a minimum of 24 balls in that period.

“[Renuka] is someone who brings a lot of confidence to the team,” Harmanpreet said. “Whenever the team needs her, she’s always ready; and we’ve always seen her do well in the first six overs. She really likes bowling the death, and you need someone to raise their hand and say, “I like bowling the death.” She is working hard on her death bowl and starting to gain experience now.”

With bat, Jemimah Rodrigues, who made a comeback after being waived earlier this year, scored just 28 runs in the first four games. After being dropped for the final game, Harleen Deol came in and hit 24 of 16 from No. 3 before running out.

“Harleen is someone who is always ready – whether it’s at bat anywhere or just playing,” Harmanpreet said. “Last match [in the fourth T20I]she didn’t fight when she was ready all along but she wasn’t upset and was [instead] positive. She was like, ‘every chance I get, I want to go out there and perform’.

“We all thought we should give Jemi a break because we know how important she is. In the future, it is important that we keep it within this framework. Batting alignment is something you can’t fix in T20s. I know Jemi was hitting at No. 3 for a long time.

“But I think if the batting lineup is flexible, that’s good and then you have more options to try things. Today is why we wanted to see how Harleen can hit at No. 3. She was there, and gaining momentum. Really happy to see her approaching with the bat. “


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