India captain Mithali Raj was frank in her admission that team’s bowling is a huge concern going into the ICC Women’s World Cup after the side’s 63-run defeat in the fourth ODI against New Zealand on Tuesday.
India are now 0-4 down in the five-match series and Mithali’s bowling attack failed to defend 270 and 279 in the second and third games.
The team also failed to chase 276 in the opening game and a mammoth 192 in a rain-truncated 20- over match in the fourth game.
“We have definitely been trying a few combinations with the seam and spin attack. To be honest the bowling is a bit of a concern before the World Cup,” Mithali said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Mithali conceded that bowlers have not been consistent in their lines and lengths throughout the tour.
“We want all our main bowlers to get their rhythm. We are adapting to the conditions and to the open ground and the breeze but there are spells where the bowlers have bowled well but we are not consistent and it is something that we are looking to improve.”
Mithali was involved in a fifty partnership with Richa Ghosh who played a blinder as she recorded the fastest ODI half-century by an Indian. Ghosh was dismissed for 52 runs off 29 balls by Hayley Jansen. Mithali’s dismissal after she contributed 38 runs followed in the next over.
“I was just looking at the shots and the way she (Richa) went about her batting, she is very talented and the future for India,” Mithali added.
White Ferns counterpart skipper Sophie Devine, however, was happy with another dominant show from her team, who are on the verge of inflicting a series whitewash.
“It was another complete performance from us,” Devine said. “With the bat, we showed real intent. Good experience (shortened game) with the World Cup coming up. It was a great opportunity for us. The batters played to their strengths. 191 was probably above-par.”
She added: “The fielding is an area where we’ve missed a few, that’s an area where we can probably save another 10-15 runs. With the bowling, at times, we have been slow to change our plans. We have to adapt quicker. I had belief in this group forever, nice to see people are seeing that. We are seeing the results now, there’s real confidence and belief. It’s perfect timing with the World Cup just around the corner.”
(With inputs from PTI)