Canterbury: The Indian women’s cricket team’s One-Day International series win in England, their first ever, was a welcome sight for cricket followers in the country as most of them are quite anxious and downright angry about how the men’s team has been playing, over the past few weeks. The women’s side, always the second to be thought of, were in the fight for the T20 Internationals series as well till the third match, and in the ODI format, some quite brilliant batting up the order combined with quite a collected bowling performance has sent out a few tips to the men as well.Also Read - Women's Asia Cup: Jemimah Makes Career-best 76 In India's Convincing 41-run Win Over Sri Lanka
Harmanpreet Kaur’s captaincy has been quite a revelation. Sure, it is always better to lead a side when it is ahead, but she had her plans and execution perfectly planned and they worked wonders. Also Read - Harmanpreet Kaur Backs Out-of-Form Shafali Varma Ahead of Women's T20 Asia Cup
The first ODI saw the bowlers coming to the party big time as England were reduced to 128/6 before some rearguard action by the last three batters saw them reach 227/9/ Also Read - Jhulan Goswami Ends Her International Career As 5th Ranked Bowler In ODI Rankings
Often in the past, India has struggled to reach such targets, but with Smriti Mandhana as always commanding the opening slot, India was never behind as she, along with one-drop Yastika Bhatia and Harmanpreet made quite an easy job of the chase.
The second game too saw all three, plus Harleen Deol, come good with the bat, and a score of 333 was always out of reach for the English batters, especially once Emma Lamb and Sophia Dunkley were removed by Renuka Singh Thakur after Harmanpreet’s fine throw had found opener Tammy Beaumont short of the crease.
Mandhana has been in great nick and the ODIs saw her score 91 and then 40, an inning cut short by a very dodgy leg-before decision.
Bhatia has made herself quite an important member of the team as a wicketkeeper who scores effectively at the No. 3 position. She had scores of 50 and 26 in the two games, being involved in critical partnerships, while Deol chipped in with an important half-century in the second game.
But the batting voyage of the ODIs surely belongs to the skipper. Harmanpreet Kaur has been unstoppable and hasn’t been dismissed in the ODI series yet.
She was in the thick of things with a knock of 74 not out in the first match, a score that took the game away from England.
In the second match, Harmanpreet possibly played one of the best innings by any Indian woman in a long time. Scoring 143 not out off 111 deliveries with 18 boundaries and four sixes absolutely destroyed the English confidence and they were never ever in the game post that.
The skipper conveyed a simple message – make sure your strengths are utilized to the maximum.
She, Mandhana and the other batters, along with the new pace spearhead of Thakur, supported by the ageless Jhulan Goswami (who possibly will play her last game at Lord’s) and the spinners all came good for India, something that the men’s side would dearly love to see.
Quite a show by the ladies. Hopefully, they will grow further from here.