The sixth edition of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup is all set to commence in the Caribbean islands, and that means it is time for us to get behind our team and cheer for the women in blue, the Indian Premier League Rajasthan franchisee has stated in an article on the Royals’ official website.
The interest in the women’s game has been steadily rising over the last half a decade or so. However, since the Indian women’s runners-up finish in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England, the interest has spiralled up beyond comparison. For this, the biggest factor is the players themselves. Since, that heroic performance in the tournament which ended with a narrow and heart-breaking loss at the Lords, the Indian women have churned out professional performances game after game.
Although India’s performances have historically not been very good in T20Is and particularly the last three editions of the T20 World Cup, this time there is a lot of positivity surrounding the team. Some fresh faces who have exhibited immense talent and spirit coupled with the experienced heads of the team give India a very well-balanced look. Add to it the astute leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur, and there is no reason to doubt India’s chances of success, states the article.
Additionally, team India has some excellent momentum coming into the tournament. They not only whitewashed the Sri Lankan women in their own den but also finished runners-up in the Women’s Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur recently. Another heart-warming sight for the Indian fans was the performance of the team in South Africa where they defeated the hosts 3-1, with one match yielding no result. This should give our women vital confidence and belief to do well away from the sub-continent as well.
The team has been preparing well in the warm-up games as they convincingly defeated the defending champions and the hosts in their only match so far. In the slow and low conditions present at most of the venues earmarked for the tournament, the Indian spinners should provide the edge to their bowling. A lot will depend on India’s most successful women bowler, Poonam Yadav, who has the experience to shine at the biggest of stages. She will be ably supported by the left-arm spinning duo of the experienced Ekta Bisht and the youngster Radha Yadav. This duo is capable of creating a lot of difficulty for the opposition batters as their difference in height makes them an awkward proposition, especially when bowling in tandem as they operate from very different angles.
In the batting department, the firepower of Smriti Mandana and Captain Harmanpreet Kaur can give the team the X-factor that is required at the beginning and towards the end of the innings. Mandana’s performance in the shortest format of the game in the last six months have been nothing short of sensational. Her successful stint at the Women’s Cricket Super League in England where she scored a T20I century and smashed an 18 ball fifty will give her a world of confidence. India will be hoping for strong starts from Mandana so that the more experienced campaigners like MithalI Raj can come in and guide the innings as per the situation.
One weakness which has caused the downfall for the team occasionally is the overdependence on Smriti Mandana to set the tone of the innings. This situation is further aggravated if Harmanpreet Kaur does not get going either. This problem was effectively addressed in the Sri Lanka series where the Indian batters showed more intent from the beginning as a result of which India was able to achieve bigger scores regularly. Another possible weakness for the team can be the lack of experience. The number of young and inexperienced players in the squad could be a cause for concern from the outset. At the same time if one goes by the performances of the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniya Bhatia and Radha Yadav, then one can see that they have shown maturity beyond their age. Their spirit and courage could, in fact, prove to be a strength for the Indian team.
Moreover, the constant supply of high-quality young talent augurs well for the Indian women’s cricket. This is a result of a strong set-up which has been created at the grassroots level. The Rajasthan Royals family with its endeavours like the creation of the junior women’s cricket team, Royal Sparks, giving recognition to the outstanding achievers in all aspects of the sport, to providing support and encouragement through the social media handles and blogs, has constantly worked to improve the women’s game in India. Hence, it will be a proud moment for the Royals to cheer our team and help them bring the cup home. So let us get ready and Halla Bol!