The Indian women's team put on a dominant display in the group stages of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup and qualified for the semi-finals. The Indian team led by Harmanpreet Kaur defeated the hosts Australia in the process and remained undefeated in their group.16-year-old, Shafali Verma's fearless starts with the bat and Poonam Yadav's consistency with the ball have played a major role in the Indian team's success.
The Indian team will face England in the semi-finals on MArch 5 in Sydney, where they need to address the following problems in their quest of winning their maiden T20 World Cup:
#1 Dip in form of Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur
The Indian team has been heavily reliant on Shafali Verma for runs as the top and middle-order have failed on multiple occasions to score runs. The biggest concern for the Indian team is the form of Smriti Mandhana and skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.
In the tournament so far, the Indian skipper has scored 26 runs in 4 matches whereas Smriti Mandhana has scored 38 runs in 3 games. Shafali has so far scored 161 runs in 4 matches with a strike rate of 161.
With England's strong bowling order, the Indian team would need their senior players in Kaur and Mandhana to step up and score big.
#2 Slow scoring in overs 6-15 while batting first
In every game, the Indian batsmen have failed to convert a good start to a big total. Apart from scoring slow in overs 6-15, the Indian team has also been losing wickets in those overs. The below-mentioned figures are a representation of India's inability to convert the starts to a big score:
Against Australia (b/w 6-15 overs): 53/2
Score at the end of the first 5 overs: 42/1
Score at the end of 15 overs: 95/3
Against Bangladesh (b/w 6-15 overs): 60/3
Score at the end of the first 5 overs: 47/1
Score at the end of 15 overs: 107/4
Against New Zealand (b/w 6-15 overs): 54/4
Score at the end of the first 5 overs: 46/1
Score at the end of 15 overs: 100/5
#3 Under-performance of the middle-order
The middle-order batsmen has failed to maintain the scoring rate after the fall of Shafali Verma's wicket in every game. Apart from these three, the wicket-keeper, Taniya Bhatia had replaced Smriti Mandhana in the game against Bangladesh at the top and had played at number three against New Zealand. In her two games, Taniya Bhatia scored 25 runs with a strike rate of 83.33.
Rodrigues has so far scored 85 runs in 4 matches in which she had failed to convert her starts against Australia and Bangladesh. She had remained unbeaten in the previous game against Sri Lanka. A primary concern for her is her strike rate. In four games, Jemimah has a strike rate of 90.42.
Similarly, the all-rounder Deepti Sharma too has a strike rate of under a run a ball in 4 matches. She has so far scored 83 runs in four matches with a strike rate of 96.51. Veda Krishnamurthy had played the role of a finisher for her side in the games against Australia and Bangladesh where she remained unbeaten on 9 and 20 respectively. In the game against New Zealand, she was dismissed for 6 runs.
The strike rate has to improve in the semis to post or chase a total successfully.