Not until this Windies team stunned the tournament hosts New Zealand in the opening match, the vindictiveness and intent just kept growing match after match they played. India’s unsettled batting order is only making things worse for India. The Windies did struggle in parts, but batters from varying positions of the line-up stood to take up the challenge and emerged successfully.
Indian bowlers especially pacers like Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh superb effort with the ball restricted batters in the power play overs. Pakistan could only manage 26-runs at the end of power play while the Kiwis scored 47 runs. As Pooja Vastrakar was utilized as a third pacer in the middle overs, she struck at crucial intervals and took the important wickets of Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite. The spin department is consistent and held the fort in the middle and at the death.
The opening combination changed twice in two matches. Yastika Bhatia came in to the team in place of Shafali Verma. She was able to put on good partnership but it came at a slow run rate. The three left-hander combination of the Indian batting line-up became an element that could be decoded by the Kiwi bowlers. So as the top and middle-order struggled to even rotate the strike in the first twenty overs, too many runs are left at the final overs to score. The top order and the middle order have to give up their cautious approach in their batting as it is deflating the chase at the end. Fielding must be improved to credit the bowlers for their accurate spells.
West Indies has been the most dynamic team in this tournament. The opening batters are in the best form, among which Hayley Matthews is currently the top run-getter in the world cup. The middle-order quick dismissals have been a troublesome thing to work on. The lower order batters like Chedean Nation and Shemaine Campbelle have shown resistance and put on a match-winning partnership of 123 runs against England to push Windies to a respectable total of 225 runs. This batting line-up is only bettering itself from strength to strength. The pace attack is lead by the experienced Shamilia Connell, while the spin department is handled by Anisa Mohammed. Anisa’s spell in the 49th over took the game away from the grasp of England.
Though the margins are the smallest of sorts, West Indies held their nerve and applied the skill and took the game away from the opposition. But behind every wins the team effort and belief that the turnaround is possible stayed as the foremost reason for the unbelievable victories. Deandra Dottin’s brilliance on the field stood as the pillar of Windies success.
Indian batting lineup needs revision, clarity and stability to stand against the storm of the dynamic West Indies. Windies will aim to overwhelm India and make it three wins in a row.
Probable Playing XI:
INDIA: Smriti Mandhana, Yastika Bhatia, Mithali Raj(C), Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh(WK) Pooja Vastrakar, Sneh Rana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Meghna Singh.
WEST INDIES: Stafanie Taylor(C), Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin, Shemaine Campbelle(WK), Chedean Nation, Chinelle Henry, Anisa Mohammed, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Kycia Knight, Shakera Selman.