Women’s World Cup: Wanted to give Shafali a break to bring in consistent Yastika : Ramesh Powar
Hamilton : India head coach Ramesh Powar on Friday said the plan was to give an out-of-form Shafali Verma a break and bring in a consistent Yastika Bhatia during their match against New Zealand in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. He added that having three left-handed batters at top three is something which the think-tank will try to address in future.In order to solve their top-order batting issue, India drafted Yastika in place of a struggling Shafali, who was out for a six-ball duck against Pakistan. It meant that India had an all-left top-order in Yastika, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.But that didn’t help as Yastika, opening in ODIs for the first time, struggled to get going against a tight New Zealand bowling attack and was out for 28 in the 20th over. Smriti and Deepti, on the other hand, fell in the first 10 overs against New Zealand.”Honestly, Shafali was not in greatest of form when you see the last New Zealand series. We wanted to give her a break, and bring in Yastika who was consistent with her batting performances. I don’t think three left-handers in a row makes a difference in every match. But going forward yes, we are going to look at it tactically,” said Powar in the pre-match virtual press conference.
“It gives an advantage to opponents to set up the plan easily and left-right batter combination allows us to get to a batting rhythm. Bowling at a left-right combination is kind of difficult for bowlers also, going forward we will try and address this,” added Powar, a former India men’s spinner.The 62-run loss against New Zealand on Thursday was not the first time India’s top-order failures were witnessed. In their opening match against Pakistan at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, India were 114/6 before Pooja Vastrakar and Sneh Rana rescued the innings with a 122-run stand.Both matches are also connected by the common thread of India not making it big in power-play. Against Pakistan, India had just 33/1 in the first ten overs while they amassed only 26/2 against New Zealand. Asked if changes to the top order will be made ahead of their third match against an undefeated West Indies, Powar remarked that he has to make the most out of the squad at his disposal.”I have been handed over a squad of 15, where I have limitations of three openers. I will use what I have, so that is the first thing.
Yastika opens for her state, and when you come in to a tournament like the World Cup, you use the squad available. I can’t make Meghana play because she is not in the squad (in the reserves). So, whatever is available, and what is given to me, I am just trying to make the best out of it. (On possible changes) I can’t tell you about it now, you can see for yourself tomorrow.”With the West Indies having three off-spinners, Powar hinted of change in the batting order. “Not really (on changes being influenced by West Indies spinners). Tomorrow, if we have three left-armers against us, will we change the batting order? No. Because I trust my batting unit. We will definitely look at it, you have left-hand batters in a row; too inexperienced barring Smriti, I agree with that. We will look at it, maybe we have taken a wrong call, we accept that, that is not a big deal. Moving forward, we need to address that.”Powar rued India bring reduced to 50/3 in their first 20 overs against New Zealand. “Going forward, it’s important to show some intent when you bat first ten overs. If you look around in World Cup, chasing is not that easy but it was a good wicket to chase upon. We messed up in the first 20 overs where I was expecting momentum and intent.”