India Women on the right course ahead of February’s ICC T20 World Cup 2023?
ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023: Are India Women on the right course? Will their new style of play reap rewards in World T20 in February 2023?
Recently, the India Women’s team lost a home T20I series 1-4 to Australia. Although the margin of loss looks wide, India did run Australia close and made them sweat for each win. If luck had went India’s way, they could have well bagged the series. They won a one-over eliminator after the high-scoring second T20I was tied, while narrowly lost the fourth T20I by 7 runs. It was in just two games that they were completely outplayed by the mighty Aussies.
Nevertheless, India Women are showing a new brand of cricket in T20Is – an aggressive approach in order to be great competitors in this format. They are no longer pushovers and can give higher-ranked opponents a run for their money. Not so long ago, India Women narrowly lost the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) Cricket Competition final to Australia by 9 runs and had to settle for a silver medal.
Read More: CWG 2022, Gold medal match, IND-W vs AUS-W: Kaur scores gritty 65 but Gardner’s 3-16 gives Aus gold
Are batters thorough with new style of play ahead of World T20?
Ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, India Women look to be on the right course to pose a serious challenge for the crown that they missed putting their hands on in the 2020 edition where they ended up runners-up to Australia. India also have a new coaching team whose main job will be to shed old baggage and be competitive in this format.
The inclusion of some hard-hitting batters in this format has given India Women the edge. Shafali Verma, who opens the batting for India, packs enough punch to give the bowlers a real hiding on her day. She pairs up with the experienced Smriti Mandhana who drops anchor when Verma is in full flow or takes over the aggressor’s role once Verma is dismissed early. On another occasion, when both players are hitting the ball well, they throw caution to the wind and go after the bowling.
Jemimah Rodrigues has had an ordinary series against Australia, but she is a reliable number 3 batter who accumulates runs cheekily with her smart batting. Harmanpreet Kaur is one of the best batters around and is a genuine match-winner to bank on. She can score quickly, or hold one end up before she decides to explode.
Richa Ghosh is playing the finisher’s role well; she scored runs at a strike rate of almost 200 during the recently concluded T20I series against Australia. In the fourth T20I against Australia that India lost, the keeper-batter scored a 19-ball 40 not out.
Meanwhile, Deepti Sharma, who is a reliable all-rounder with a solid experience of 82 T20Is, comes in handy in pressure situations with both bat and ball.