After showing signs of improvement in the second ODI, Mithali Raj has now lamented the bowling department, asking for more preparation from their side prior to the series. Raj also added that Jhulan Goswami’s absence allowed for others to step up and take responsibility after the loss.
While India partially had a breather in the series, after their comfortable win in the second ODI, where they chased down South Africa’s total pretty easily, since then, they have struggled. In the third and fourth ODI, the South African openers ensured a long evening for the Indian bowlers, who struggled to pick up wickets to test the visiting middle-order.
The trend continued, with Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt putting on yet another hundred-run opening stand. From there on, the Indian team were always playing second fiddle to the South African openers, despite having scored 266 on board, as the visitors chased down a record total. In the presentation, Indian skipper Mithali Raj lamented the bowling department’s preparation before the series, which has cost them the series.
“Even if we scored more than 266, it wouldn't be enough, the way the South Africans batted. Our bowling department need to work on preparation before a series. We lacked that. We are not a bad fielding side but there are things we can improve on,“ said Mithali, reported ESPNCricinfo.
The Indian skipper also admitted that in Jhulan Goswami’s absence, India lacked experience but at the same time, it provided an opportunity for the youngsters to step up and take responsibility. However, despite the fall in the series, Mithali hoped that the bowling department, especially the spinners come back stronger in the next game, which is a dead-rubber.
“We missed Jhulan's experience but it was an opportunity for the other bowlers to step up and take responsibility. Our spin department is experienced. I expect them to come back stronger,” she added.
Stand-in skipper Laura Wolvaardt also credited the top-order, who kept the scoring rate on, for the visitors during their record run-chase. The opening batter also added that the plan for the batting unit was for one of the top-order batsmen to step up and bat throughout the innings. South Africa chased down the target in 48.4 overs, with six wickets remaining.
“Sune is more than welcome to come back. This was a massive team effort. I'm fresh to the job and I used the senior players for advice and help. The plan was to as attacking with the ball upfront as we could be. We have a world-class attack. One in the top four has to bat through for us. It's something we haven't done in the past,” Laura said, reported ESPNCricinfo.