The Indian women’s team went down fighting in the finals of the recent T20I tri-series that also featured hosts Australia and England Women. Needing just 156 to win the final against Australia, the Eves in Blue succumbed despite opener Smriti Mandhana scoring 66 off 37 balls upfront. Diana Edulji, a former women’s cricket player, has come out and slammed the team for their constant slip-ups in the final matches and also questioned the side’s running between the wickets in the recent past.
She also asked the management to ponder over the team’s inability to finish off games despite putting themselves into a promising position to win the game. “There is something wrong with this team. This is a team that can win every game and it does win from an unlikely situation but the next game it is losing from a comfortable position like it did today. They are simply not consistent enough.
“They have all the facilities at their disposal now, at par with men, and yet they have not been able to play consistent cricket and win ICC trophies. If they play like the way they are playing, they will make the semifinals again (at T20 World Cup) but I don’t see them winning the trophy,” Edulji told news agency PTI as India lost the tri-series final to the Aussies.
“They are so lazy that they never try for a second. These are the things that make all the difference. It is a single or a boundary, there is nothing in between,” said the 64-year-old.
She was also of the view that Harmanpreet Kaur should give up captaincy, but wondered who would take her place instead. “Both Harmanpreet and Jemimah need to pull up their socks. Maybe Harman should give up captaincy and play her natural game. Something seems to be troubling her. But who else takes over then. If Smriti is handed captaincy, it might affect her batting too,” said Edulji who represented Inda in 20 Tests and 36 ODIs.
The lack of upcoming seam bowlers in Indian women’s cricket was also a major cause of concern, with Edulji wondering who would take on the responsibility in the absence of Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey. “It just shows there are no quality pacers in domestic cricket. You only have Shikha Pandey of some calibre. What is being done to produce pacers? We are bound to play with a spin heavy attack if there are no pacers around.
“We are not concentrating on junior cricket enough. How come Australia have pacers who can bowl at 120 kmph and we don’t?” asked Edulji.
“Going forward, they need to undergo mental strengthening courses. At the moment, you will see them making the semis and finals but an added push is required if they are to hold the trophy,” Edulji