In­dia women aim to im­prove bat­ting form, sal­vage pride in fi­nal T20

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - Htsportsmax - Press Trust of In­dia sports­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

HAMIL­TON: An im­proved bat­ting per­for­mance will be fore­most on skip­per Har­man­preet Kaur’s mind when In­dia women, seek­ing a con­so­la­tion win, face New Zealand in the third and fi­nal T20I here on Sun­day.

After win­ning the ODI se­ries 2-1, In­dian women lost the T20 se­ries. With an aim to build a squad for ICC World T20 in 2020, the In­dian team man­age­ment de­cided to drop Mithali Raj.

NO EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Only time will tell whether this call pays div­i­dends in the long run but the re­sults were far from en­cour­ag­ing in the first two matches that In­dia lost by 23 runs and four wick­ets re­spec­tively.

“We are build­ing a team. To­day, we may be fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties but in fu­ture we will do well as the young play­ers gain ex­pe­ri­ence. I think the fu­ture is good for the team and re­sults will fol­low,” skip­per Har­man­preet had said after con­ced­ing the se­ries.

In both games, whether chas­ing or bat­ting first, In­dia were stuck in the sub-140 mark, which is be­low par against a top team like New Zealand.

The big­gest prob­lem has been the lack of fight from the mid­dle­order, bar­ring Sm­riti Mand­hana and Jemimah Ro­drigues, top scor­ers in the first two games re­spec­tively. Debu­tant Priya Pu­nia’s lack of ex­pe­ri­ence and Har­man­preet’s lack of form -- she scored 17 and 5 -- too are con­cerns.

SQUAD FOR ENG ODIS

A 15-mem­ber squad cap­tained by Mithali Raj was an­nounced on Satur­day for the three-match ODI se­ries against Eng­land, to be played at the Wankhede Sta­dium in Mum­bai on Fe­bru­ary 22, 25 and 28. The ODIS are a part of the on­go­ing ICC Women’s Cham­pi­onship .

Squad: Mithali Raj (cap­tain), Jhu­lan Goswami, Sm­riti Mand­hana, Jemimah Ro­drigues, Har­man­preet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bha­tia (wicket-keeper), R Kal­pana (wicket-keeper), Mona Meshram, Ekta Bisht, Ra­jesh­wari Gayak­wad, Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Pu­nam Raut.

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