Cricket

India women look to regroup after the drubbing in first ODI

After the game, Harmanpreet Kaur realised the players needed some time to gel as a unit. Photo: Twitter/@BCCIWomen  

Harmanpreet Kaur is often identified as the one who played the spectacular knock of 171 against Australia.

Her 100th ODI, against South Africa on Sunday, however, was not so memorable as India slipped from a position of strength to defeat.

It will be unfair to blame the 32-year-old Harmanpreet for causing the U-turn in the match with that lofted drive when she was in full flow during a classy essay of 40.

It was a collective failure, to consolidate on the foundation. The beautiful playing conditions in the afternoon made the Indian bowling look toothless.

Having dominated South Africa in the past, the Indians know how to get back into the driver’s seat in the next four ODIs, all to be played at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium.

Vice-captain Harmanpreet said after the match that the players needed to be “pricey” with their wickets and have good partnerships to render justice to the team’s ability. “Next match we will try to play long,” said Harmanpreet.

Considering the resolve, it will be interesting to see the response from the team to the challenge of getting even, in the second ODI on Tuesday.

If anything, the reverse for the host has ignited a lot more interest in the women’s series, which should augur well for the game.

The temptation could be to chase, on winning the toss, from the way things unfolded in the opener. How the pitch behaves henceforth would also be watched with keen interest.

South Africa, finding itself in good competitive rhythm, would attempt to consolidate on the gains from the eight-wicket victory.

“We will try to do what best we can do as a team,” assured Harmanpreet. You can expect the Indian team to lift itself and play hard.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 9:02:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/india-women-vs-south-africa-women-blown-away-in-opener-rusty-india-aim-to-bounce-back/article34017462.ece

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