Bowlers need to fight hard and back the batters: Shikha Pandey


Indian women team’s all-rounder Shikha Pandey feels batting is not the main concern of the side on the tour of England, and that if the batters “cannot get us runs”, it’s the bowling unit which needs to fight hard “and back the batters”.

Following the historic draw against the host in the one-off Test at Bristol, India could manage only 201 and 221 in the two One-day Internationals here, losing both by big margins.

India have lost the ODI series and would be looking forward to the three-match T20I series, beginning July 9 at Northampton, to get back to winning ways.

“I wouldn’t say batting is the main concern. When I get into a game, we think about all three aspects of the game together. So, if the batters cannot get us runs, it’s us, the bowlers, the bowling unit, we need to fight hard and back the batters. I wouldn’t say it is one department of the game that’s lacking,” the 32-year-old cricketer, who had the best economy among the Indian attack in the second ODI on June 30, said in a virtual interaction.

Shikha conceded just 34 runs in her nine overs, bowling a maiden and also took a wicket.

“If we can get all the three (departments clicking) together on the day, we will be doing well. Thinking too much about what has happened is not really going to help us, so just thinking ahead about what we can do as a team together. Whatever runs the batters score, the bowlers have to defend it and whatever runs the bowlers initially get the other team to score, the batting team has to go chase it.”

Shikha said a brainstorming session had been called by skipper Mithali Raj after the first ODI loss, where it was decided to have clear plans in place and to “back each other”.

“We spoke about what we are capable of and backing out strengths and having clearer plans in place and just going by them and not looking too much for the wickets and just keeping it tight…that was what was said: ‘to keep our plans simple and going about our business early in the innings’.

“We are not really gauging ourselves against them (England); it’s just about backing ourselves, and we know as a team we are a very good team and when we play to our strengths, we have a good day.”