Assessing India’s performance at the end of the One Day Internationals against England, coach Ramesh Powar said he was impressed with the fielding and bowling but says the side will have to sort out its batting woes ahead of next year’s ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand.
Skipper Mithali Raj was the bright spot in an overall lacklustre batting performance by the Indians as they lost the three-match ODI series against hosts England 1-2.
“I think bowlers brought us back into the game. We have to learn lot many things from this series. I think fielding improved immensely, bowling has improved immensely, batting has to be up if we are aiming at the World cup,” Powar told bcci.tv.
Mithali scored three half-centuries in the three ODIs and became the highest run-getter in women’s cricket across formats while guiding India to a four-wicket win over England in the third and final ODI in Worcester on Saturday.
“I think she deserves every praising word out there,” Powar said of the India skipper, who made an unbeaten 75 off 86 balls in a successful chase of 220.
“She has been a fantastic servant of the game; 22 years of cricket and I think she is a role model for a lot of our girls. She has single-handedly won us the game. Chasing 220 on a low bounce track, she took us over the line.”
The 43-year-old former Mumbai and India cricketer was also impressed by Sneh Rana, who made a 22-ball 24 and took one wicket during the third ODI, having returned to the format after a lengthy break.
“Sneh Rana is a find of this series. The way she was bowling at Southampton in practice session, we thought we should give her a chance. It was a difficult decision to play two off-spinners but she played her role to the core,” Powar said.
Rana had also scored a half-century on her Test debut to help India draw the one-off match against England.
“I am really happy for her, being an off-spinner I can see the talent, she is a player who can play in crunch situations and that’s what we needed right now, when the big tournaments or big series comes up, we need players of calibre who can take pressure,” Powar said.
Powar was also effusive in his praise for veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami.
“I think Jhulan Goswami is one of the legends of women’s cricket and her ethics, preparations, commitment towards team, commitment towards dressing room and commitment towards young players, that makes a huge difference to us as a team.”
India will next take on England in a three-match T20I series, starting on Friday.
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