India may have to adopt a more enterprising approach to batting in the second One-Day International in Taunton on Wednesday to level the three-match series against formidable host England.
India consumed 181 dot balls en route to a below-par 201 which England chased down rather comfortably to take a 1-0 lead in the series on Sunday. Ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand early next year, India has got work to do in all departments as pointed out by skipper Mithali Raj herself.
The contest could see India making multiple changes in the playing eleven as the batters’ inability to rotate strike is hurting the team. According to former India captain Diana Edulji, the middle-order has too many “anchors,” and therefore Punam Raut can make way for Jemimah Rodrigues at No. 3.
“You can’t afford to play 180 dot balls in modern-day cricket,” Edulji told PTI. “That has to change. The seniors need to step up and if they can’t, then youngsters should be given the opportunities ahead of the World Cup,” she said, referring to the trio of Mithali, Punam, and Harmanpreet Kaur.
“If you keep losing with the seniors, then you have to try out the younger players who showed in the one-off Test what they are capable of.”
India has crossed 250 only thrice since the 2017 World Cup. The team needs to put up high scores consistently to challenge heavyweights England and Australia.
Harmanpreet Kaur is caught out during the first ODI. – GETTY IMAGES
Mithali scored 72 in the first ODI, but consumed 108 deliveries in her innings; T20 skipper Harmanpreet, on the other hand, got out for 1 to continue her run of low scores in the tour. Edulji says Harmanpreet needs to come back to form quickly. “Harman is not due for a big score, she is overdue,” said Edulji.
India went in with only one specialist spinner in Ekta Bisht at Bristol. Pacer Shikha Pandey, who has made a comeback with the U.K. tour, did not seem to trouble the England batters enough and could be dropped for the second ODI. Mithali can bring in Arundhati Reddy in her place or get another specialist spinner.
Sneh Rana, who performed brilliantly with both the bat and ball on her Test debut, can be the second spin all-rounder alongside Deepti Sharma. “I would want the team to stick to its strength which is spin bowling. Two spinners must play,” added Edulji.
India only has to look to its opponent for inspiration. England played a near-perfect game of ODI cricket to outplay an out of sorts team.
- India: Mithali Raj (c), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, Harmanpree Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Arundhati Reddy, Puja Vastrakar, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Indrani Roy (wk).
- England: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Nat Sciver, Sophia Dunkley, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Amy Jones (wk), Freya Davis, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Sarah Glenn, Emily Arlott, Tash Farrant.