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What India Women need to set right in T20Is?

India Women lost the first T20I against South Africa women in Chennai. Top things India Women need to set right ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024.

India Women need to set a lot of things right ahead of T20 World Cup 2024 | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCIWomen/X)
India Women need to set a few things right ahead of T20 World Cup (Photo: ©BCCIWomen/X)

The upcoming ninth edition of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup is set to commence on October 3, 2024. The marquee tournament will continue until October 9, with Bangladesh serving as the host nation. For India’s women's cricket team, this tournament represents a crucial opportunity to build on their achievements from the 2023 edition, where they reached the semi-finals. As they prepare for this prestigious competition, India faces a myriad of challenges and opportunities, reflecting on their recent performances, strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

In 2023, India Women had a campaign characterised by a mixed bag of results. They displayed moments of brilliance, alongside instances of inconsistency that highlighted underlying issues within the squad. Despite possessing a talented roster comprising a blend of youth and experience, the team's journey revealed both promising aspects and critical areas requiring attention.

Youngsters need to take the charge 

At the forefront of India's strengths are their emerging talents and seasoned campaigners. Young players such as Renuka Singh, Shafali Verma, Richa Ghosh and Jemimah Rodrigues form a formidable core, expected to lead the team's charge in the years ahead. Their performances in domestic leagues and international tournaments have demonstrated their potential to make significant contributions to the team's success. Complementing these rising stars are established veterans like Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, whose leadership on and off the field provides stability and guidance to the younger players.

Batting Concerns

Despite these individual strengths, the team faces several challenges that could impact their performance in the upcoming World Cup. One of the most significant concerns is their dependency on specific batters, particularly evident in their reliance on standout performances from openers like Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma, or critical innings from skipper Harmanpreet Kaur. When these players excel, India often thrive, but their over-reliance on them can become a vulnerability if they fail to deliver consistently under pressure.

Another pressing issue for India is the instability at the number-three batting position. The team has struggled to find a reliable player to anchor this crucial slot, with Jemimah Rodrigues often touted as a potential solution. However, her performances have been inconsistent, highlighting the need for a more settled approach in this pivotal role.

In the middle order, India has encountered frequent collapses and missed opportunities to capitalise on strong starts provided by the top order. This inconsistency has been a recurring theme in their matches, where promising beginnings have often fizzled out due to a lack of depth and resilience in the batting lineup.

Furthermore, India's prowess in power-hitting, a crucial aspect of modern T20 cricket, has been subpar compared to teams like Australia and England. The ability to clear boundaries and accelerate the run rate in the middle and lower order is essential in high-pressure situations, where matches can be decided in a matter of overs. While players like Richa Ghosh have shown glimpses of their capability in this regard, the team lack established finishers who can consistently deliver match-winning performances under duress.

Jemmimah Rodrigue and Harmanpreet Kaur to bat up in the order in T20Is Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©BCCIWomen_X)
Jemmimah and Harman has a good partnership in 1st T20I (Photo: ©BCCIWomen/X)
Issue in Bowling Lineup

In the bowling department, India have grappled with significant challenges, particularly following the retirement of veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami. The responsibility of leading the attack has fallen on the shoulders of bowlers like Renuka Singh and Deepti Sharma, who have shown promise but struggled with consistency and support from their teammates. Against strong opposition, such as South Africa, India's bowling unit has often faltered, failing to maintain pressure or capitalise on favourable conditions.

A notable concern has been the absence of a reliable sixth bowling option, which exposes the team's vulnerability in managing overs effectively during crucial phases of the game. This deficiency has been exploited by opponents, who have capitalised on weaker links in India's bowling lineup to gain momentum and control matches.

Spin bowling, traditionally a strength for Indian cricket, has also faced challenges in recent times. The team's spinners have struggled to take wickets consistently in the middle overs, a phase crucial for restricting opposition batters and building pressure. While conditions in South Africa may initially favour pace bowling, spinners are expected to play a pivotal role as pitches wear down during the tournament, making it imperative for India to address these concerns proactively.

Fielding Woes

Fielding has been another area of concern for India, with lapses in concentration and execution costing them dearly in crucial matches. While some players like Radha Yadav, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have shown proficiency in specific aspects of fielding, the overall standard remains below par compared to top international teams. Instances of dropped catches, missed run-out opportunities and conceded extra runs have undermined India's efforts to build pressure and control the course of matches.

Looking ahead to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, India's prospects hinge significantly on their ability to address these challenges effectively. Central to their success will be fostering a cohesive team environment, clarifying each player's role, and implementing strategies to mitigate weaknesses while leveraging their strengths.

Consistency is the key

The coaching staff and team management must prioritise stability and consistency in the batting lineup, identifying reliable options for critical positions such as number three and cultivating depth in the middle order. This entails providing adequate opportunities and support to players like Jemimah Rodrigues, encouraging them to flourish in roles that are crucial to the team's success.

Lack of Intent

In terms of power-hitting, India must develop a more aggressive approach in the middle and lower order, nurturing players who can thrive under pressure and turn matches in their favour with decisive batting displays. The emergence of players like Richa Ghosh provides optimism in this regard, but sustained efforts are needed to groom and empower such talents to deliver consistently on the big stage.

Ultimately, India's journey in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup will be defined by their ability to collectively address these challenges and capitalise on their strengths. The team's success will depend not only on individual brilliance but also on their capacity to function as a cohesive unit, supporting each other and executing their roles with precision and determination.

As they prepare to compete against the world's best in Bangladesh, India have the talent and potential to emerge as formidable contenders for the T20 World Cup title. With strategic planning, rigorous preparation, and a unified team ethos, they can overcome obstacles, defy expectations, and leave a lasting impression on the global stage of women's cricket.


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