Struggling Indian team aims to give fitting farewell to Jhulan
HOVE: After an ordinary showing in the shortest format, the Indian women’s cricket team will have to drastically lift its game in all departments and give a fitting farewell to veteran Jhulan Goswami in the ODI series against England beginning here on Sunday.
India got most things wrong in the T20 Internationals series which it lost 1-2, especially its batting and fielding. With England missing its three senior players, including injured skipper Heather Knight, it was a good chance for India to register a rare series win over England.
Its middle order issues have gone on for far too long and after three games in England, it remains far from being resolved. D Hemalatha was tried but she could not make much of an impact.
Though Jemimah Rodrigues has been named in the squad, questions remain over her fitness after she was ruled out of The Hundred due to injury.
After being dropped from the T20 squad, pressure will be on Yastika Bhatia to perform. While Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur continue to hold the batting together, Shafali Verma needs to find consistency after three years in international cricket.
With Goswami retiring at the end of the three-match ODI series, the pace department also doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Renuka Singh has done well of late but the team still relies heavily on spinners to do the job even in overseas conditions.
Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana and Deepti Sharma merit a place in the side. But, is going with three all-rounders and no specialist in a playing eleven the right option?
The series is part of the ICC ODI Women’s Championship which will eventually decide the qualifiers for the 2025 World Cup.
In Knight’s absence, Amy Jones will continue to lead the England squad. Alice Capsesy and Freya Kemp, who impressed in the T20Is, have been handed their maiden call ups for the ODI series.
“It’s another big series, especially with points counting towards ICC Women’s World Cup qualification, and with the summer ending at Lord’s there’s a lot to be excited about,” head coach Lisa Keightley said in an ECB statement ahead of the series opener.