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Sophie Ecclestone

Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)
Ramesh Powar. (TOI Photo)

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

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)

Shafali verma, Women's T20 Challenge 2020
Shafali Verma. Image Credit: T20 World Cup

Teenage Batting Sensation Shafali Verma Atop ICC Women’s T20I Rankings

Indian women’s team cricketer Shafali Verma has attained the No.1 position in the ICC Women’s T20I ranking after her stunning performance in the ongoing ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. The 16-year-old batting star has only 18 T20Is under her belt but the way she plays doesn’t define that she is an inexperienced batswoman.

The opening batswoman has given a compelling start to India in every game of the coveted tournament. So far, Shafali scored 161 runs at a staggering strike rate of 161.00.

Also, she is the third-highest scorer in the ongoing tournament. Shafali slammed her best (47) against Sri Lanka.

Shafali jumped 19 places and dethroned New Zealand veteran Suzie Bates from the top spot, who has held the No.1 position since October 2018. She became only the second Indian woman after the legendary Mithali Raj to top the T20I rankings.

Shafali Verma makes her country proud:

As India has entered the semi-finals of the tournament, Shafali can be a game-changer for the team who will wish to lift the maiden title.

On the other hand, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues have fall two places from their previous spot, following their visible struggle at the T20 World Cup.

Sophie Ecclestone tops the bowling charts:

Sophie Ecclestone, ICC Women's T20I ranking
Sophie Ecclestone. Image source: Twitter

This England cricketer is the dangerous bowler for the opposition. She is one of the best spinners who is renowned for her accuracy and economy rate.

In the marquee clash against the West Indies women, she picked three-wicket to hand England a  semi-final spot. Also, the youngster is the second-highest wicket-taker so far, with eight wickets in four matches.

Ecclestone is the first England bowler to be No. 1 since Anya Shrubsole in April 2016, and the first England spinner at the top since Danielle Hazell in August 2015. While Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, and Deepti Sharma are the three bowlers among the Top 10 list.

Meanwhile, along with India and England, South Africa and Australia are the other two teams who will play semi-finals.