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India Will Need Heavy Weapons To Defend Itself From The Ladies Of New Zealand

India need big guns to fire against NZ women

Image Source: Indian Express

On the other hand, India will need much more from the established stars. Mithali, 39, has been a fantastic servant to Indian cricket, and she is in good form right now, having scored nine half-centuries in her previous 20 appearances, just two of which have come in victories for the home team.

Having come off a hammering of Pakistan in their Women’s World Cup opener, India will be looking to maintain its momentum when facing hosts New Zealand in their second encounter on Thursday. Mithali Raj’s squad is confident, but they must be careful of the New Zealand women’s team, who defeated them 4-1 in an ODI series just before the championship competition.

Although India won the series finale to avert a clean sweep, senior players Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur could not win the previous games. Shafali Verma, the first to take the field, seemed to be struggling with her form. Smriti Mandhana scored a respectable 52 against Pakistan, but she was far from her most graceful self. Despite earning 40 runs, Deepti Sharma batted at No. 3, a position more suited to Yastika Bhatia, who played well in the warm-up matches against South Africa and the West Indies, scoring 58 and 42 runs, respectively.

If India is forced to use Yastika in the starting XI, they would have to remove Pooja Vastrakar or Sneh Rana, who was instrumental in their victory against Pakistan. Their 122-run partnership for the seventh wicket spared India from humiliation in the last match of the series. When playing with the ball in their hands, the two players are also highly adept.

On the other hand, India will need much more from the established stars. Mithali achieved a grueling 36-ball nine, while Harmanpreet managed only five runs. It was difficult for the pair to rotate the strike as they constantly consumed dot balls amid overs. The batting positions of 4 and 5 are critical, and here is where a kid like Yastika may be able to contribute more effectively. The left-hander has a free-flowing style of hitting and has a respectable strike rate of 73.94 in her limited One-Day International (ODI) experience.

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