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High dot-ball count a worry: Kaur

Ahead of World T20 semis, India captain Harmanpreet urges batters to show more intent

High dot-ball count a worry: Kaur
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur

GQEBERHA (South Africa): Captain Harmanpreet Kaur has conceded that India’s inability to rotate strike is a “worrying” sign, adding that the team has been discussing how to address its long-standing dot-ball issue ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup semifinals.

India qualified for the semifinals of the marquee event after a five-run win over Ireland via the Duckworth-Lewis method on Monday.

However, rotation of strike remains a huge issue for the Indian team. The ‘Women in Blue’ struggled with strike rotation in the series against Australia in December and even in the Tri-series that ended earlier this month.

The problem has persisted as India consumed 51 and 41 dot balls in the Group 2 games against England and Ireland respectively.

“Dot balls are something which (are) already worrying us,” Kaur said at the post-match press conference.

“In the next game, we would love to see some improvement in that area also. Against England, we played too many dot balls. Things like that we have already been discussing in team meetings.

“But sometimes, when the other team is bowling too well, at the end of the day, these wickets are something when you score 150, that’s a par score for you.”

Against Ireland, the Indian batters struggled to get the runs flowing. India was going at less than seven runs per over before Smriti Mandhana, who was dropped as many as four times, found her groove in the latter half of the innings.

“World Cup games are always something where both the teams are under pressure. I think these matches, if 150 is on the board, you always (have) the upper hand.

“We are not putting too much pressure on ourselves. We are just going there and understanding what conditions are there and just playing according to the situation,” Kaur said.

Playing her 150th T20 International, Kaur promoted herself to number three but was not able to strike the ball, eventually departing for 13.

“Initially I tried a few shots, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to convert those shots into boundaries. Sometimes a player is having a good day and then everybody was dropping her catches and she just wanted to express herself.

“She (Mandhana) told me, ‘better to give me singles than you taking risks’ and initially, that’s what we did. After 15 overs, then you have to take a risk from both sides, and then that’s what we decided to do.”

“At the end of the day, when you win, you feel satisfied but I think a few areas, especially in batting, we want to sit and discuss how we have to go in the next game.”

The hard-hitting Shafali Verma is having an underwhelming tournament, struggling to make the kind of impact that is expected of her.

“Well, we have always given her that liberty, you know, where she can go and express herself. We never put too much pressure because we know she’s someone who likes to play free cricket,” Kaur said.

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When you win, you feel satisfied but I think a few areas, especially in batting, we want to sit and discuss how we have to go in the next game

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- Harmanpreet Kaur

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