Hamilton, March 11: India head coach Ramesh Powar said on Friday the plan was to give an out-of-form Shafali Verma a break and bring in a consistent Yastika Bhatia during their match against New Zealand in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. He added that having three left-handed hitters in the top three is something the think tank will try to address in the future.
To solve their first-order batting problem, India drafted Yastika in place of Shafali, who was out for a six-ball duck against Pakistan. It meant that India had a higher left order in Yastika, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.
But that didn’t help as Yastika, opening in ODI for the first time, struggled to get going against a tight New Zealand bowling attack and went out for 28 in the 20th. Smriti and Deepti, on the other hand, fell in the first 10 overs against New Zealand.
“Honestly, Shafali wasn’t in his best shape when you watch the last New Zealand series. We wanted to give him a break and bring in Yastika, who was consistent with his batting performances. I don’t think three left-handers in a row makes a difference in every match. But going forward, yeah, we’re going to look at it tactically,” Powar said at the pre-match virtual press conference.
“It gives opponents an advantage to set up the plan easily and the left-right batsman combination allows us to get into a batting rhythm. Bowling in a left-right combination is also a bit difficult for bowlers, in the future we will try tackle it.” this,” added Powar, a former male spinner from India.
The 62-run loss against New Zealand on Thursday was not the first time India’s higher-order failings had been witnessed. In their opening match against Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, India was 114/6 before Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana rescued the innings for a 122-run lead.
Both parties are also connected by the common thread that India does not stand out in the power play. Against Pakistan, India went just 33/1 in the first ten overs, while they went just 26/2 against New Zealand. Asked if there will be any changes to the top order ahead of their third match against an undefeated West Indies, Powar commented that he has to make the most of the team he has at his disposal.
“I have been given a team of 15, where I am limited to three starters. I will use what I have, so that’s the first thing. Yastika opens for his state, and when you get to a tournament like the World Cup, you use the available team. I can’t get Meghana to play because she’s not in the team (reserves) so whatever’s available and whatever’s given to me, I’m just trying to make the best of myself.(On possible changes) I can’t tell you now, you can see for yourself tomorrow.” With the West Indies having three supporting players, Powar hinted at a change in the batting order. “Not really (on the changes influenced by the West Indies spinners). Tomorrow, if we have three left-handers against us, will we change the batting order? No. Because I trust my hitting unit. We’ll definitely see it, right? truth?” we have left-handed hitters in a row; too inexperienced except Smriti, I agree with that. We’ll see, maybe we made a wrong decision, we accept it, that’s not a big deal. Going forward, we have to address that.” Powar blew India down to 50/3 in their first 20 overs against New Zealand. “Going forward, it’s important to show some intent when you hit the first ten overs. If you look around at the World Cup, chasing is not that easy, but it was a good wicket to chase. We were wrong in the first 20 overs where I was expecting drive and intention.”