India will need to improve their game in all departments to make a comeback in the T20I series against England after losing the first match.
India will look for a comeback win when they take on England in the second T20I on Tuesday at the County Ground in Derby. The visitors lost the first match of the three-match series by nine wickets.
Despite making a good start in the first game, India could only manage 132/7 in the 20 overs against a bowling attack that consisted of rookies Lauren Bell, Bryony Smith and Freya Kemp. Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma made 30 runs for the first wicket in just four overs but weren’t able to sustain the momentum as they got out to soft dismissals.
Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur got out to a ball that kept inexplicably low in conditions that weren’t the best suited for an international game. India also kept losing wickets at regular intervals and Deepti Sharma’s unbeaten 29 off 24 balls eventually helped them reach a respectable total.
The target however proved to be a walk in the park for the hosts as they completed the chase in 13 overs with Sophia Dunkley making 61 not out off 44. Danni Wyatt fell to Sneh Rana for 24 while Alice Capsey made 32 not out.
India, who reached the finals of the Commonwealth Games T20 competition, must be bitterly disappointed with their performance in the last game against an under-strength England side that is missing the services of Natalie Sciver, Katherine Brunt and Heather Knight.
“As a team we didn’t play the brand of cricket we have played in the last few months, so definitely we were really disappointed (after the loss in the first T20I), but we just took it as one bad day and we know that we have to come back harder and match the standards we have set for ourselves and our team,” said India vice-captain Mandhana on the eve of the match.
And to match those standards, India will have to significantly up their game in all three departments. India could only add 31 runs in the final four overs despite Deepti, Kiran Navgire, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana and Radha Yadav being available to bat. India had the batters to compensate for the early loss of wickets but the middle-order could not up the ante when required. Leg-spinner Sarah Glenn with four wickets offered a tough test to the batter in the first T20I and they will hope to do better on these fronts on Tuesday.
Indi decided to go with only one genuine pacer, Renuka, in the first match. It will be interesting to see if they will retain the same combination or if Meghna Singh will make a comeback into the playing XI. Also, an off-spin heavy Indian side lacked variety in Chester-le-Street. Radha Yadav’s injury that she suffered while fielding could force India to make a change in any case and in such a scenario India could call up Meghna or left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad.
There’s plenty to ponder for captain Hamranpreet but whatever decision she makes, she will hope for her players to produce their A-game on the field to stay alive in the series.
India: Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Dayalan Hemalatha, Harmanpreet Kaur(c), Richa Ghosh(w), Kiran Navgire, Deepti Sharma, Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Radha Yadav, Renuka Singh, Simran Bahadur, Taniya Bhatia, Jemimah Rodrigues, Meghna Singh, Sabbhineni Meghana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad
England: Sophia Dunkley, Danielle Wyatt, Alice Capsey, Amy Jones(w/c), Maia Bouchier, Bryony Smith, Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Kemp, Sarah Glenn, Freya Davies, Lauren Bell, Issy Wong, Kate Cross
The match will start at 11 PM IST and will be broadcast on Sony Sports Network and live streamed on the SonyLIV app.
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