Indian women’s team faced their fifth defeat in the past six matches against the hosts New Zealand as they lost their second encounter of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 on Thursday. New Zealand, who have dominated the Indians throughout this summer, didn’t let anything change in a familiar script by first scoring a healthy 260 for 9. They then choked the ‘Women in Blue’ before bowling them out for only 198 in 46.4 overs.
Indian team slips to the fifth spot after their loss to New Zealand
Ahead of the encounter, the out-of-form Shefali Verma was dropped from the team. The Indian team also made some baffling decisions as they sent three left-handers with home team skipper Sophie Devine giving the new ball to off-break bowler Frances Mackay (8-1-25-0), who would take it away from left-handers. The figures don’t seem exceptional but much like what Deepak Patel did for the men’s team in 1992, Mackay bowled as many as 27 dot balls in those first 15 overs to choke the flow of runs.
The only two positives for the Indian team were Puja Vastrakar’s 4 for 34 in 10 overs and Harmanpreet Kaur’s 71 off 62 balls. While Vastrakar’s four-for could still be credited for stopping New Zealand’s total from going north of 280, Harmanpreet’s runs might just help her regain confidence for the coming games. However, their efforts made hardly any difference to the outcome.
Amelia Kerr runs through the Indian team with her all-round performance
Amelia Kerr (50 and 3/56 in 9 overs), one-half of the famous Kerr sisters, first laid the platform with a solid half-century and then breached the defenses of rival skipper Mithali Raj (31 off 56 balls) with a flighted delivery.
Her fast googly dismissed Richa Ghosh (0) of the successive delivery to make it virtually impossible for India. Towards the end, she also got the crucial wicket of Harmanpreet to make it a perfect all-around performance.
The pursuit of 261 started on a discordant note with Smriti Mandhana (6 off 21 balls), Yastika Bhatia (28 off 59 balls), and Deepti Sharma (5 off 13 balls) unable to find ways to rotate the strike. Mithali’s struggles have been well documented and it’s not getting any better in her last tournament for India.
After this loss to New Zealand, India has now slipped to fifth among eight teams while New Zealand, with two wins from three games, are now second behind Australia in the overall standings.