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Sneh Rana

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
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Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami Need Support If India Women Want To Do Well In 2022 WWC: Ramesh Powar

Ramesh Powar, India women’s cricket team coach feels veteran players Mithali Raj & Jhulan Goswami need support from the other players in the respective departments if India wants to do well in World Cup in 2022.

India women’s cricket team coach Ramesh Powar feels the side has come a “little ahead” compared to where they were in March during the South Africa series.

File Photo of Ramesh Powar(Twitter/ANI)
File Photo of Ramesh Powar(Twitter/ANI)

Ramesh Powar On Positives From The UK Tour:  Sneh Rana’s Comeback After 5 years And Doing Well Is Inspirational

Sophie Ecclestone picked three wickets before Danielle Wyatt smashed 89 off 56 balls to help England defeat India by eight wickets in the third and final T20I on Wednesday (local time). With this win, England secured a multi-format victory in the final match of the tour. Danielle Wyatt stitched a 112-run partnership with Natalie Sciver to chase down the total of 154 runs with ten balls to spare.

Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images

Ramesh Powar termed Sneh Rana’s comeback as inspirational and listed out the positives from the UK tour.

“Sneh Rana coming back after five years and putting on a show is inspirational. There are lot many positives, scoring 154 against the top side, we want to score high in T20Is and ODIs (score 250).”

“Fielding has improved, bowling has improved and if you compare to South Africa we have come little ahead and there is a lot of work to be done,” Powar said while replying to a query from ANI.

Sneh Rana scored an unbeaten 80 in the 2nd innings which saved India from the jaws 0f defeat in the one-off Test besides picking 4 wickets. She didn’t contribute much with the bat and ball in the limited-overs ODI and T20I series that followed but her return after 5 years was nothing short of an inspirational run.

Ramesh Powar: Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami Needs Support

However, the head coach Ramesh Powar was quick to add that veteran players Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami need support from the other players in the respective departments if India wants to do well in World Cup in 2022.

“We have to have match time, in the fast bowling department there is only Jhulan, there has to be some support to her, then middle overs batting after powerplay in ODIs, that’s where strike rotation and little bit conversion from dot balls to runs should be there after you get set,” said Ramesh Powar.

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami © AFP
Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami © AFP

“In Test cricket, there are a lot of things to learn about, still we managed to draw that game. In T20Is we have to score 160 plus, to put some pressure. For World Cup in New Zealand we have to have good fast bowlers and the middle overs are where we are trying to get that conversion rate, Mithali is batting very well but she needs support, to get to 250,” he added.

Mithali Raj became the leading run-getter in women’s international cricket, going past Charlotte Edwards’ tally of 10,273 runs in WODIs achieving the feat against England. The two women are the only players to scale the 10,000-run mark in women’s international cricket. No other player has managed to breach the 6,000-run milestone in women’s ODIs apart from Mithali Raj who has aggregated 7304 runs in WODIs.

Jhulan Goswami has featured in 11 W Tests, 189 WODIs, and 68 WT20Is picking 41, 236, and 56 wickets in the 3 formats respectively. She is the highest wicket-taker in Women’s One Day International cricket. In February 2018, against South Africa, she became the first bowler to take 200 wickets in WODIs.

England won the T20I leg of the tour 2-1 and sealed a 10-6 series win as Danielle Wyatt and Natalie Sciver made the chase looked relatively easy. Earlier, a stunning knock from Smriti Mandhana helped India score 153 runs in the allotted 20 overs. India had got off to the worst start losing Shafali Verma and Harleen Deol in the powerplay.

Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
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Mithali Raj Praised Sneh Rana After India Women’s Clinch 3rd ODI Against England

Mithali Raj, the Indian skipper heaped praise on all-rounder Sneh Rana and said that she can be groomed into a finisher after Indian women defeated England women in the third and final ODI.

India defeated England by four wickets in the third ODI on Saturday at the New Road, Worcester. Mithali Raj played a captain’s knock as she remained unbeaten on 75 off just 86 balls. In the end, Sneh Rana also played a crucial 24-run knock which came off just 22 balls with the help of three fours.

Mithali Raj runs between the wicket. (Getty Images)
Mithali Raj runs between the wicket. (Getty Images)

Mithali Raj: Sneh Rana Will Have A Bigger Role Playing For India In The Forthcoming Years

Sneh Rana’s cameo of 24 from 22 balls at No. 7 in Worcester was pivotal to her 50-run sixth-wicket stand with Mithali Raj as the duo helped India seal a four-wicket win in the final match of the three-game ODI leg of the multi-format series.

Earlier in the day, Sneh Rana had also made an impact with the ball, returning figures of 7-0-31-1, having opener Lauren Winfield-Hill caught for 36 to break a 67-run second-wicket partnership. She had picked up 1 for 43 in the second ODI.

“Definitely, yes. That’s a slot we have always looked for somebody who has the shots to clear the field, strong shots all around. And it helps to have a player there who can also bowl. So it’s good to have her on the side.

“She’s definitely shown that she does have the character in her to be built into a good player. In the current era, in modern cricket, allrounders play a very important role in the composition of the team. I’m sure that she has bigger role-playing for India in the coming years,” said Mithali while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match press conference.

Sneh Rana celebrates a wicket Getty Images
Sneh Rana celebrates a wicket Getty Images

India went on to lose the three-match ODI series against England but the solitary win in the third ODI will give the visitors a much-needed boost ahead of the upcoming T20I leg of the tour.

Indian women debutants Shafali Verma (96 and 63), Deepti Sharma (3/65, 29* and 54), Taniya Bhatia (0 and 44*), Sneh Rana (4/131, 2 and 80*), and Pooja Vastrakar (1/53, 12 and 12) took the centre-stage to manage a draw against England women in the one-off Test preceding the ODIs after being followed-on in India’s first Test after seven years.

Mithali Raj: It’s Just A Matter Of One Innings For A Batswoman Like Harmanpreet Kaur To Get Her Rhythm Back

Mithali Raj was of the opinion that Harmanpreet Kaur who has not been able to show any form with the bat recording scores of 16,19 and 1 in the three ODIs will get her rhythm back in the T20 format. She was not able to get among the runs in the one-off Test as well.

Harmanpreet Kaur, whose epic 171 against Australia in the 2017 World Cup, became a seminal moment for the women’s game in the country, has since gone off the boil. In 29 ODI matches (in which she didn’t get to bat six times) since the 2017 World Cup final against England, the Indian vice-captain has scored only two fifties and two scores over 40, which has put the maximum pressure on the scoreboard.

“It does happen with any player. Sometimes you are just not in form. But as a team and as a unit we back players who have been match-winners. We also know that single-handedly she has won games for us with her innings.

“This time around she needs the support of the team to back her. It’s just a matter of one innings for a batter-like her to get her rhythm and timing. I’m sure with the T20 format, a format that suits her game, I really hope she will be back among the runs,” said Mithali.

Harmanpreet Kaur has crossed fifty only twice in last 28 matches. AP
Harmanpreet Kaur has crossed fifty only twice in the last 29 matches. AP

Talking about the form of No.3 Jemimah Rodrigues, Mithali said: “A young player, obviously, she (Rodrigues) will take some time. It’s just a matter of experience and exposure for players like her.

“When a player goes through bad form, as players, seniors, and team management we can give her the confidence and the backing, but it boils down to the player herself to have that belief to come out of the bad form. Again, for a batter, it’s just a matter of one innings to get the timing right and hope that as a young player she should get back in form.”

In the third and final ODI, Mithali Raj was also able to become the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket, across all three formats. She surpassed England’s Charlotte Edwards to become the leading run-scorer.

Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
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England Women Resorted To Constant Sledging To Disturb Indian Women Team’s Concentration: Sneh Rana

England women players resorted to “constant sledging” to disturb the concentration of the Indian women team but they maintained their composure to pull off a thrilling draw for the Indian women’s team in the one-off Test here.

It was a tale of Indian women debutants as Shafali Verma (96 and 63), Deepti Sharma (3/65, 29* and 54), Taniya Bhatia (0 and 44*), Sneh Rana (4/131, 2 and 80*) and Pooja Vastrakar (1/53, 12 and 12) took the centre-stage to eke out a draw against England women after being followed-on in India’s first Test after seven years.

England Women Sledged A Lot, Says India's Savior Sneh Rana who first took four wickets, then played a match-saving knock of 80 not out in India's second innings. Courtesy: Twitter
England Women Sledged A Lot, Says India’s Savior Sneh Rana who first took four wickets, then played a match-saving knock of 80 not out in India’s second innings. Courtesy: Twitter

England Women Players Tried To Disturb Indian Women Players Who Were Unnerved

Needing two wickets in the final session, England women bowlers were on top and used all the tactics with close-in fielders and constant sledging but Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia remained unfazed.

“It was their job to disturb us, and they kept on doing so many things to achieve their goal,” Rana, who scripted a heroic act with Bhatia in their century-plus unbroken nine-wicket partnership, said at a virtual post-match conference on Saturday night.

India's Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters
India’s Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters

“We did not pay any attention and kept on talking to each other after every ball, be it from far or getting closer. It boosted us up. We just wanted to do it for our team. That was the only conversation we had in the middle.”

England women’s Sophie Ecclestone’s four wickets earlier in the day had England in a prime position to push for victory before an eighth-wicket partnership worth 41 runs between Sneh Rana and Shikha Pandey had India clinging on to the prospect of a draw at tea.

Sneh Rana, who on Test debut produced just the innings her side needed, reaching 80 not out off 154 balls to kill off any chance of the hosts sealing a result while Taniya Bhatia was unbeaten on 44 at stumps.

Sneh Rana And Deepti Sharma Opens Up On The One-Off Test

In her first match for India after five years, the spin allrounder Sneh Rana bowled 39.2 overs in the first innings before putting up the rescue-act batting at No 8.

“There was no nervousness. We just wanted to play our basics. There was sledging in the middle but we both decided to just focus on our batting and put in extra focus.I don’t think much and just keep myself busy. I didn’t want the situation to take over me so that I could play my natural game.”

Asked about missing a century on her Test debut, Rana said: “I didn’t think about the century. The team wanted me to stay so I was just playing ball-by-ball and contribute to the team.”

Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings
Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings (Courtesy: Reuters)

Promoted to No 3 after being unbeaten in the first innings, Deepti Sharma was steely in her partnership with Shafali Verma as she put in the foundation before England triggered a collapse. Indian women lost the momentum midway into the 2nd innings as they were staring on the brink of a defeat with the score at 199/7 before managing a respectable 344/8 following on.

“Actually, it was about starting all over again and play session by session. I always enjoy batting with Shafali, we know there will be sixes, boundaries anytime when she is playing.”

“I got a lot of confidence from my knock in the first innings, I just wanted to play close to my body in the second innings. I just played session-by-session,” Sharma said.

The England women and Indian women teams agreed to a draw at 6.13 pm local time with India 344 for 8 in their second innings following on, a lead of 179 runs, after Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia had combined for an unbroken stand of 104 for the 9th wicket.

India 231 (Verma 96, Mandhana 78, Ecclestone 4-88, Knight 2-7) and 344 for 8 (Rana 80*, Verma 63, Sharma 54, Bhatia 44*) (f/o) drew with England 396 for 9 declared (Knight 95, Dunkley 74*, Beaumont 66, Rana 4-131, Sharma 3-65)

Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
Sneh Rana took three wickets on the first day of her Test debut Getty Images
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Sneh Rana Scores Half-Century And Bags 4 Scalps On Her Test Debut

Sneh Rana became the first Indian women’s cricketer to achieve a notable feat with her brilliant all-around display against England women. She became the first Indian woman to score a half-century and bag a four-wicket haul on her Test debut.

Playing her first international match, Sneha Rana made a remarkable statement with her all-around skills in the one-off Test match against England in Bristol.

Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings
Sneh Rana remained unbeaten on 80 against England in the second innings (Courtesy: Reuters)

Sneh Rana Scores Half-Century And Took 4 Scalps In Her Test Debut As Her Partnership With Taniya Bhatiya Saves The Test

All-rounder Sneh Rana became the first Indian woman and fourth overall to score a half-century and take four wickets on Test debut.

After figures of 4/131 in England’s 1st innings, Sneh Rana scored a half-century in India’s second innings. She remained unbeaten on 80 and etched an unbeaten 104 run partnership with Taniya Bhatia (44 not out). During her unbeaten knock of 80, the all-rounder Sneh Rana scored the highest by an Indian batting at 6 or lower in Women’s Test cricket.

India's Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters
India’s Taniya Bhatia plays a shot during the one-off Test against England. — Reuters

The one-off women’s Test between India and England ended in a draw on the final day, with the visitors defying the home side attack to score 344 for 8 in their second innings after following on. India was 199/7 in the second innings, but the herculean effort from Sneh Rana ensured that the game is drawn as India after scoring 344/8 averted a shameful defeat at Bristol.

Shafali Verma Added Only 8 More Runs To Her Overnight Score Of 55

Following on and on the verge of defeat on the final day on Saturday, India was rescued by Sneh Rana and Taniya Bhatia’s stand, the highest 9th wicket stand for Indian women in Tests.

Washington Sundar and Amar Singh are the two other Indians with this all-around feat in Test cricket. This feat has been done four times in women’s cricket, this being the first time by an Indian player.

Shafali Verma became the thrid youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women
Shafali Verma became the third-youngest Indian women cricketer to play Test cricket after she was handed her debut | Photo: BCCI women

Earlier, India opener Shafali Verma (63) could add just eight more runs to her overnight score as Katherine Brunt caught her off Ecclestone in the 30th over. Smashed for a straight six in the first ball of the over, Sophie Ecclestone came back to dismiss Shafali Verma in the last delivery, with Katherine Brunt taking a spectacular catch at long-on.

Deepti Sharma and Punam Raut then showed great resilience as India took a lead of six runs with seven wickets in hand at lunch. However, a sudden lapse of concentration saw Deepti Sharma go for a reckless slog off Sophie Ecclestone in the 58th over only to drag the ball onto her leg-stump in what was the last ball before lunch.

The 17-year-old Shafali Verma had smashed 96 runs in the one-off Test against England in Bristol, providing India with a solid start in the 1st innings but despite her efforts, India was made to follow on. Earlier, England had declared their first innings at 396/9 with captain Heather Knight making 95 while Sophia Dunkley (74*) and Tammy Beaumont (66) also made significant contributions.

India 231 (Verma 96, Mandhana 78, Ecclestone 4-88, Knight 2-7) and 344 for 8 (Rana 80*, Verma 63, Sharma 54, Bhatia 44*) (f/o) drew with England 396 for 9 decl. (Knight 95, Dunkley 74*, Beaumont 66, Rana 4-131, Sharma 3-65)