WWC 2022 – Eng vs Ind

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She admits not batting 50 overs against England cost the team, but says they are “bound to go through ups and downs” over a long tournament like the World Cup

India collapsed to 134 all out in 36.2 overs but put up a spirited showing with the ball at the Bay Oval, reducing England to 4 for 2 and then 128 for 6. By taking England’s chase into the 32nd over, their net run rate copped a relatively less-severe blow, but the lack of a par score – 134 was their lowest total in four games at the 2022 ODI World Cup so far – meant India’s attack was only delaying the inevitable.

“Our plan was definitely to play 300 balls, but unfortunately, we could not play full 50 overs,” Goswami, India’s pace spearhead who became the first bowler to take 250 wickets in women’s ODIs on Wednesday, said. “So, definitely, we had to pay the price for not playing the full 50 overs because our target was 240-250, which, at this ground, would have been a par score. Had we been able to do that, would have definitely been able to restrict them.”

India’s batting has so far oscillated between two extremes – they had posted this World Cup’s highest total, 317, in their previous outing, and on Wednesday stumbled to the second-lowest score by a team batting first in the 15 games played so far at the tournament.
In all their four outings, though, there have been collapses: 112 for 5 against Pakistan, 95 for 5 against New Zealand, 78 for 3 against West Indies and 86 for 7 against England.

Raj, India’s most experienced batter who came into the World Cup on the back of three fifties in five ODIs against New Zealand, has managed only 9, 31, 5, and 1 at the World Cup, batting at either No. 3 or 4. Deepti Sharma, who has alternated between the same positions, too, has struggled, making 40, 5, 15, and 0 so far. The pair’s inconsistent run has been a talking point within the larger volatility of India’s top five, but Goswami played down the issue.

“I don’t think so – it [lack of runs from Nos. 3 and 4] is a concern,” Goswami said. “You know who is batting at No. 3: it’s Mithali Raj. [She] is just one big knock away from her start. Past [previous] series also she was batting fantastically. It’s just [that she is] one big knock away from [hitting form] in this tournament. I think Deepti also did a pretty decent job. And [at] No. 5 Harman [Harmanpreet Kaur] is playing, so I don’t think so we have an issue. It’s just one bad day that we didn’t click as a batting unit.”

“There is no solution to it,” Goswami said when asked how India’s batting group had been looking to address the recurrent collapses. “It is a process and the game goes like it. Some day [the] top order will not work, some day middle order will not work; this is how this game has been played… but definitely it is a learning process, every day we try to address certain issues. We will definitely solve those issues and come back strongly.

“Honestly speaking, at this moment, yes, our top order, the way we are thinking, they haven’t fired. But I am sure we will have to be positive about that because they have done really well in the past.”

“The mood within the team is very good, everybody is very relaxed and everybody knows what their role is. It’s just that today was a bad day when we couldn’t execute our plans.”

Goswami isn’t too fussed about the defeat against England

Goswami said while the team was not worried about the challenges posed by Australia, it was important to review their underwhelming performance against England ahead of that game.

“This is such a big tournament, where, over a seven- or eight-match period, you are bound to go through ups and downs,” she said. “You cannot have a straight graph. Ups and downs are part and parcel of the sport but what’s important is how we come back as a group when we take the field [again] and how we better the plans we have drawn up.

“The mood within the team is very good, everybody is very relaxed and everybody knows what their role is. It’s just that today was a bad day when we couldn’t execute our plans.

“In this World Cup every match is very much important and every match – it’s not easy. You can’t predict and definitely you have to bounce back when you’re playing against one on the best teams in the world. We have few days. We’ll definitely sort out whatever things are there. And definitely go there and play positive cricket.”

Annesha Ghosh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @ghosh_annesha

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