• Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

    Mithali Raj SLAMS Harmanpreet Kaur’s Indian Women’s Team After Poor Cricket in ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023


    Feb 20, 2023

    India’s former captain, Mithali Raj, has urged her team to strive for excellence in all three aspects of the game, following their disappointing 11-run defeat to England in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023. Raj expressed her concern over India’s lackluster batting and bowling, as well as their inconsistent fielding, stating that the team has only performed well in brief periods. Although India managed to share the honors with England at St. George’s Park in Gqeberha, their pursuit of a place in the knockouts was jeopardized by a lack of momentum in the final overs of the match. Despite a valiant effort in the last over, where they scored 19 runs, India’s overall performance was not up to the mark. With this loss, England now holds a 6-0 record against India in the tournament, and has secured the top spot in Group 2. As a result, India has slipped to second place in the group, with two wins, one loss, and a total of four points.

    Raj, speaking on the 100% Cricket Podcast, pinpointed the middle-over periods across both innings as where India faulted. “The over that India lost Smriti Mandhana, that point was so crucial because she was building a partnership with Richa Ghosh,” said Raj as quoted by ICC.

    Till she was there, there were hopes that India could end up winning this game, but it was a tall ask from the lower-middle order of India to chase down the total.

    “England were expensive in the Powerplay, but when it came to the middle overs and the death overs, they were disciplined. They dried up the runs of the opposition and got those wickets in the last few overs. Sophie Ecclestone — the No. 1 T20 bowler — she showed why she is the best in this format, getting Harmanpreet Kaur in her very first over,” added the legendary batsman.

    The defeat means England, barring a disastrous performance against Pakistan on Tuesday in Cape Town, will finish top of the group. As a result, India’s path to the tournament final takes an unwanted turn with a likely meeting with world No.1 and defending champions Australia at the semifinal stage.

    Raj, in the commentary box for the tournament, said her former teammates have to sharpen up in every department if they are to turn over the favorites should they meet them.

    “They have to put up the best performance in the semis. Because it is a knockout and you are up against the world’s best, you have to be very good in all three departments. So far, India has been very scratchy in the batting, and equally scratchy in the bowling. Fielding, in patches, they have done well,” said Raj.

    While put in some tricky situations, Australia’s collective quality across the 15-player squad has meant they have cantered to four victories on the other side of the draw.

    Tripping up at 40/3 from seven overs against South Africa hours after India’s defeat on the same ground, Australia’s middle order not only steadied the ship with Ash Gardner (28 from 29 balls) but countered through Tahlia McGrath’s 57 (33), winning in the 17th over.

    For Raj, given the batting quality across the Australian group, a target requiring eight runs an over or more is the only way to keep the pressure on the entire team.

    “If you have to beat a side like Australia, you clearly have to put up a target, and nothing less than 160 on the board. The Indian team depend highly on the spinners, and so far it is only Deepti Sharma that’s delivering the goods said Raj.

    “When you have players like Renuka Thakur, Shikha Pandey, Deepti, you need support from the other bowlers even to defend a target that you put up. So India really has to put up an improved performance from what they have been doing in the league phase when they are up against Australia,” she added.

    Apart from calling the action, Raj has other motives at the tournament, given her role on board with the Gujarat Giants as a mentor for the inaugural Women’s Premier League, beginning on March 4.

    While lamenting the timing of the ground-breaking tournament being a little late for her as a player, Raj is happy to watch history unfold from the other side of the boundary.

    “I am very happy to be watching the game from the sidelines, watching and commenting, so a very different perspective. I am sure with the WPL and the other leagues around the world, every other player from different countries gets to participate and gain more Exposure with regards to this format, it is only going to help (the game),” said the batter.


    Source link