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Familar Problems Return To Haunt Harmanpreet’s Indian Side

In the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), Harmanpreet Kaur was a sensation. She scored 281 runs in the competition, averaging a mighty 40 with a strike-rate of 135. All of those numbers are quite impressive.

But when she dons the Indian blue, the reality is far from the expectations. On January 9 (Tuesday), there was a glorious opportunity for Harmanpreet to turn things around, walking in at 60/2. But in the space of just three overs, her stay at the crease ended prematurely when she walked back for a six-ball three.

It was a cutter from Annabel Sutherland, which removed the Indian skipper. It wouldn’t have made the limelight if it had been a one-off incident.

3, 6, DNB, 3, 5, 9, 0, DNB, 49, 44, 6, 9, 26 – is what Harmanpreet has managed to score across her last 13 innings in international cricket. The notable ones are the 3, 6, 6*, 9, 26, and 2 that she scored in her last six T20Is. Her inconsistent display will definitely hurt India more in the future.

India’s batting order – a never-ending conundrum

You would probably solve the mystery surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, but there is a lesser chance of India finding their perfect batting order in the shortest format. Despite the plethora of talent at their disposal, more so than ever, India have struggled big time in the series to figure out their batting order.

Whenever they are presented with an opportunity, they throw it away. One of the best finishers in the country, Pooja Vastrakar, who has time and again shown the ability to clear the boundaries with ease, only got two balls to bat in the innings, and even in those two deliveries, the right-hander smacked a six. While at 99/5, it was a wise decision to send Amanjot Kaur, it was perhaps not a wise decision from the management to hold back Pooja, denying her an opportunity to hit the long ball.

This despite having a lengthened batting unit, which had Shreyanka Patil waiting in the wings. Maybe it is high time India figured out the batting roles for the different individuals. It is perhaps the right time for India to groom Vastrakar into a larger role than solely depending on the likes of Deepti Sharma to do a job.

India’s bowling struggles in the middle-overs

India Women – 27 overs, 5 wickets, 7.2 ER and a bowling average of 39.4

Australia Women – 27 overs, 7 wickets, 6.7 ER and an average of 26.

Perhaps at the end of the series, the difference between the two sides was this. It was how they bowled in the middle-overs (7-15) and either continued applying pressure or made a comeback after getting hit in the powerplay. Chasing 148 in the third T20I, Australia were 54/0 in the powerplay and later continued their onslaught, scoring 63 runs in the next nine-over phase.

Meanwhile, India were 51/1 in the powerplay but lost the plot completely in the middle-overs, where they lost four wickets for just 49 runs. It is a classic case of how India could learn from Australia to make a comeback in the contest. Even from a batting standpoint, India’s approach in overs 7-15 has been quite conservative, with a strike-rate difference of -9.3.


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