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Posted at: Feb 10, 2019, 7:23 AM; last updated: Feb 10, 2019, 7:23 AM (IST)

Onus on Harman as eves play for pride

Onus on Harman as eves play for pride
India opener Smriti Mandhana scored 36 off 27 balls against New Zealand in the second T20I. file

Hamilton, February 9

An improved batting performance will be foremost on skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s mind when the Indian women take on New Zealand in the third and final T20I here tomorrow. After winning the ODI series 2-1, the Indian women lost the T20Is series after going down in the first two matches, and would be looking for a consolation victory.

The biggest problem for India has been the lack of fight from the middle-order. Opener Smriti Mandhana and No. 3 Jemimah Rodrigues were the top-scorers in the first two games. The two have aggregated 205 runs from the two matches, while the rest of the batswomen have contributed only 61 runs.

Debutant Priya Punia’s lack of experience has been evident but what hurt the Women in Blue most is skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s indifferent form. Another problem figuring out what exactly is Deepti Sharma’s role in the squad. As an off-spinner, she is neither as restrictive as left-arm spinner Radha Yadav nor an attacking option like leg-spinner Poonam Yadav. As a left-handed batswoman, she lacks the firepower to up the ante in the final overs. She has failed repeatedly to change her game over the last two years and the team management needs to decide where exactly she fits in.

New Zealand have raised their game, with senior batswoman Suzie Bates scoring 57 in the final ODI and a match-winning 62 in the second T20I. — PTI

Women’s squad for ODI series vs England

New Delhi: India retained the 15-member women’s squad led by skipper Mithali Raj that played in the New Zealand series for the upcoming three-match ODI rubber against England, starting in Mumbai on February 22. The three ODIs are part of the ongoing ICC Women’s Championship and will be played at the Wankhede Stadium. The Indian board also announced the BCCI President’s XI squad that will play a warm-up game ahead of the series on February 18. pti

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