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2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup | Analysis of Indian women's cricket team

The Indian side comprises many players who are loaded with experience. Check out here the Indian women cricket team analysis for 2022 women cricket world cup.

Arkya Mitra
Last updated: 13.03.2022
2022 Women Cricket World Cup Analysis of Indian women cricket team

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The 2022 edition of the Women’s World Cup is scheduled to begin on 4th March 2022. Being held in New Zealand for the third time, the marquee event in the women’s calendar will consist of 31 matches culminating in the finals on April 3rd at Christchurch.

 

There are a total of 8 teams participating in the tournament. Australia, England, South Africa and India obtained a direct entry to the tournament along with the host New Zealand. With the Qualifier for the tournament canceled mid-way last year, the final 3 spots were determined through the ODI rankings at the end of the league, which meant that Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies made the cut.

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Main squad:

Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Taniya Bhatia, Sneh Rana, Pooja Vastrakar, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad.

 

Strengths :

Capable batting unit

 

The Indian batting line-up looks quite strong on paper. Smriti Mandhana, an excellent opener, is known to be versatile in approach. She can play the role of an aggressor and can also consolidate at the top and build long innings. Shafali Verma will definitely play the role of an aggressor, punishing bad balls and ensuring that the team has a good batting powerplay. While she has proved her value in T20Is, she is yet to hit the strides in the longer format. Mithali Raj, the captain, is known to hold one end together and play out long innings as has been evidenced by her track record. Scoring 3 half-centuries in the recent games against New Zealand, she has shown that she can evolve, scoring the runs at a greater pace than in the past. Yastika Bhatia holds a lot of promise. Harmanpreet Kaur is invaluable in the middle-order, playing a crucial role of propping up the innings for a late assault, with the experienced Deepti Sharma and wicket-keeper Richa Ghosh. They have the batting firepower that can propel them to the 270s.

 

Experienced core group

 

The Indian side comprises many players who are loaded with experience. Mithali Raj has featured in 225 ODIs, the most appearances in Women’s ODIs and has also scored the most runs in the format. Jhulan Goswami, who is expected to lead the bowling attack, has also played close to 200 games. Harmanpreet Kaur has featured in 111 ODIs. Deepti Sharma, Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Smriti Mandhana have all played over 50 ODIs.

 

Weakness :

Lack of finishers

 

As has been the case in the past, the Indian batting line-up lacks proven finishers in their ranks which has cost them quite badly in ODI matches. Thus, in spite of a good foundation built by the top-order, they have failed to capitalize and convert the 260-270s into 300s as the other teams have managed to do. Harmanpreet Kaur is a classic finisher who has underperformed. Deepti Sharma cannot bat with aggression for a sustained period to really cause any panic while Richa Ghosh, though talented, is not too experienced to be counted on for this role. In their recent games against New Zealand, India reached the 270s but it was not enough to challenge the hosts. A few runs extra from the finishers could have been enough.

 

Lack of penetration in bowling attack

 

Another problem with the Indian team is the lack of penetration in the bowling unit. Shikha Pandey was very threatening in the World T20 in Australia but was not selected for the World Cup. Jhulan Goswami is likely to open the bowling with Meghna Singh and will be supported by Pooja Vastrakar and Renuka Singh. Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Sneh Rana will operate as spinners in the attack along with all-rounder Deepti Sharma. Meghna Singh, Renuka Singh, Sneh Rana, and Pooja Vastrakar are new in the Indian setup and will take their time to develop as bowlers. There is a lack of quality bowlers at the death-overs which could cost them in this World Cup.

 

Poor fielding

 

India had improved as a fielding side over the years. However, with the absence of game time due to the pandemic, the fielding standards have gone down drastically. There have been many cases of fielding lapses conceding extra runs coupled with dropped catches and missed run-outs at crucial junctures, which have contributed to the final outcome. India will have to ensure that their fielding remains top-notch, especially against the stronger teams, if they are to reach the knockouts stage.

 

Threats:

Harmanpreet Kaur's poor form

 

Harmanpreet Kaur played a very important role in the last World Cup with a blistering 171* against Australia in the semis. However, since the tournament, her returns have been quite modest. She has scored only 3 half-centuries in 33 ODIs since then while taking only 8 wickets. Her bowling also, in general, has been quite wayward and she has been prone to leaking runs. She has faced a severe lack of form over that period, inviting criticism and calls of being dropped from the side. However, she made her presence felt with her most recent knock of 63 off 66 balls in the last ODI before the World Cup. The most important question is – whether it is just another one-off innings or whether the resurgence of form will be sustained throughout the tournament.

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