Batting coach Shiv Sunder Das on Thursday said that India will try a different approach and have practiced playing against the short ball ahead of the second One-day International against Australian in Mackay.
Das also confirmed that vice captain Harmanpreet Kaur is yet to recover from a thumb injury sustained before the first match and will miss the second one as well.
India were crushed by nine wickets by the hosts in the opening ODI of the multi-format series on Tuesday and will play the second, a day-night game, on Friday.
While India scored 225/8, thanks to a late burst by the lower order after a half-century from Mithali Raj, the innings never got the momentum it needed and then the hosts gunned down the target in 41 overs.
The captain then called on the openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma to give a better start. The batting coach also backed them to come good, especially in the powerplay, saying he has had one-on-one sessions with batters and they have addressed some of the issues during nets in the last two days.
“We are looking at the top-order to give us a good start and the middle order – they have worked hard in the last few sessions, we have some plans. I think they’ll play differently in tomorrow’s game,” Das said in a virtual press conference on the eve of the second ODI.
“We have Shafali and Smriti... I am positive they will give a good start and once we score 60-70 runs in the 10 overs we can carry that momentum in the middle overs,” he added.
Head Ramesh Powar had said that India are aiming to post 250-plus consistently and the batting coach added that they have a plan in place for the second game to keep the scoreboard ticking.
“We are working on that aspect of the game, we are looking for a good start and in the middle overs we are looking at an average of five runs and in the end we are looking at six runs per over. That’s our batting plan.”
On Tuesday, after the loss of openers Mandhana and Verma inside the first six overs, India struggled to get going. While debutant Yastika Bhatia and Mithali put together a 50-run stand, the middle overs didn’t see a good scoring rate.
“We have addressed the issues in the first 10 overs but, in the middle overs, running between the wickets is something we are still working on.
“It’s a work in progress, we have a few young batters in the side, we have to give them some time and once they get used to the conditions, they will definitely fire,” he added.
Mandhana’s struggles with the bat in the 50-over format continued with the left-hander scoring just 16 in the first ODI. The opener has breached the 50-run mark just once in the last nine games but Das is confident she will provide the much-needed solid start for India.
“I had a chat with her and we have worked on her in the last two sessions, we have addressed the issues, she is a world-class player and we are backing her ability to get runs for us, and definitely, we’ll see the difference in tomorrow’s game.”
Mithali, who scored a 107 ball-63, was once again the top scorer for the team and the coach said the youngsters in the side will perform after they settle in.
“There are a lot of youngsters in the team, Yastika got an opportunity and she batted really well. It is a huge challenge for them and all these pitches are good for batting. I hope they’ll perform well tomorrow.”
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