India will have to shed their outdated batting approach and play more freely to bounce back against formidable hosts England in the second ODI in Taunton on Wednesday.
India consumed 181 dot balls as they posted a below par total of 201 runs which England chased down comfortably to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on Sunday.
Ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand early next year, India have got work to do in all departments as pointed out by skipper Mithali Raj herself.
The second ODI could see India making multiple changes in the playing XI as the batters’ inability to rotate strike is a big cause for concern.
Former India captain Diana Edulji said the the middle-order has too many “anchors”, which could lead to Punam Raut making way for Jemimah Rodrigues at No 3.
“You can’t afford to play 180 dot balls in modern-day cricket. That has to change. The seniors need to step up and if they can’t, then youngsters should be given the opportunities ahead of the World Cup,” Edulji told PTI.
“If you keep losing with the seniors, then you have to try out the younger players who showed in the one-off Test what they are capable of.”
India have only crossed 250 thrice since the 2017 World Cup, something the team has to do on a consistent basis to compete with the likes of England and Australia.
Mithali scored a 72 in the first ODI but would want to improve her strike-rate, while T20 skipper Harmanpreet Kaur is desperately seeking some consistency.
“Harman is not due for a big score, she is overdue,” said Edulji.
India went in with only one specialist spinner in Ekta Bisht at Bristol besides three pacers.
Shikha Pandey, who has made a comeback to the Indian team with the UK tour, has struggled for consistency and could be replaced by Arundhati Reddy or another specialist spinner.
Sneh Rana, who did brilliantly with both the bat and ball on her Test debut, can be the second spin all-rounder alongside Deepti Sharma.
“I would want the team to stick to its strength which is spin bowling. Two spinners must play,” added Edulji.
India: Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Punam Raut, HarmanpreeKaur (vc), Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Sneh Rana, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Jemimah Rodrigues, Arundhati Reddy, Puja Vastrakar, Ekta Bisht, Radha Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Indrani Roy (wk).
England: Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Nat Sciver, Sophia Dunkley, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Anya Shrubsole, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Amy Jones (wk), Freya Davis, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Sarah Glenn, Emily Arlott, Tash Farrant.
Match starts 6.30 pm IST on Wednesday.
Inputs from PTI
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