As T20 World Cup holders Australia secured a 4-1 series win over India at Brabourne Stadium, captain Harmanpreet Kaur was left to rue the struggles of her bowling unit in the second half of the innings during the five-match series.
Harmanpreet insisted that her team had planned a lot of things to never let Australia off the hook, but admitted that those plans were never executed on the field throughout a thrilling series.
In the fifth and final T20I, India had done well to reduce Australia to 67/4. But Ashleigh Gardner and Grace Harris put on a crucial stand of 129 runs off 62 deliveries for the fifth wicket to take Australia to 196/4, slamming 112 runs off the last eight overs. In reply, India were all out for 142 as pace all-rounder Heather Graham took a hat-trick on Tuesday night.
“We are doing really well in the first ten overs and are not giving them any easy runs. But after the tenth over, suddenly things were changing. We were also thinking about those things, like how we can stop (them). We had planned a lot of things, but we were not able to execute them on the field. Going forward, we will definitely work on those areas,” said Harmanpreet in the post-match press conference.
“Earlier, the first six overs were the area we wanted to improve as a team. But we are now getting the results and later on, in the next four overs. We will analyse now who can bowl after ten overs and who can be the death overs bowlers. We have discussed and now we have a month off, we can now plan about the areas where we can stop the runs,” she added.
India were also hampered by the unavailability of all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar, who was ruled out before the start of the series due to an injury.
The side’s next international assignment is in January 2023, where they will be traveling to South Africa for a T20I tri-series featuring the West Indies as a third team. The tri-series will serve as vital preparation for India before the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa takes place from February 10-26.
Harmanpreet hopes that Pooja, the fast-bowling all-rounder, will be back with the Indian team from January.
“In future matches, there will be pitches where seam bowling will be more of a factor than spin bowling. It was one of the reasons why we started with Meghna Singh in the first two matches. Sometimes a player doesn’t put in the performance which is expected of her,” the skipper said.
“I believe that as soon as Pooja joins the team, that area (third seamer) will be filled as her one-two overs will always be important. If you see for this series, we had called extra bowlers as medium pace options. We are working on those areas and before going to South Africa, we will try to cover those areas,” she added.
The 33-year-old also praised her team for showing positive attitude and incredible self-belief throughout the series against a strong team like Australia.
“As a team, the self-belief was always there, and we knew the strength of the Australian side and the type of cricket they were going to play.
Everybody was really very positive and looked forward to performing well whenever they got an opportunity. With champion sides like Australia, you always see that they were able to get runs despite losing early wickets. They were able to create pressure and still, we wanted to play positive cricket,” said Harmanpreet.
“Talking about the positives, especially in the batting, everyone was positive and looking to score. First 10 overs we have been really good and we can carry that forward in bowling. We need to work on our bowling in the death overs which we will do in the one-month break that we are getting to see what are the best things we can do to get the best results,” she added.