India batting coach Shiv Sunder Das on Thursday admitted that the team’s top order has to fire in the upcoming matches of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.
In India’s 62-run loss to New Zealand at Seddon Park, the Mithali Raj-led side failed to get going in chase of 261 and were 50/3 in 20 overs at one point in the innings.
“I think the top order obviously has to fire. I think we have the high power to go deeper in the tournament and obviously, we’re looking at the top order, and once you get going in the first 10-15 overs I think we can put up a good score on the board,” said Das while replying to a query from IANS in the post-match virtual press conference.
“The main part is I think (is) the strike rate is also a way for us and the top order has to fire and definitely after one day we’re playing West Indies So definitely we’ll come back stronger in the West Indies game,” added Das, who played 23 Tests and four ODIs for India Men’s team from 2000 to 2002.
Talking about the decision to pack the top-order with three left-handers in Smriti Mandhana, Yastika Bhatia and Deepti Sharma, Das remarked, “If you see our top order I think it was an experienced top order – with Smriti batting at the top order – we thought we could get some runs on the top order, but maybe we have to think about this decision in the next game.”
Das brushed aside the suggestion that India were on a tactical downslide while chasing 261. “I don’t think so. I think New Zealand bowled well. In that phase if you see the first 10-15 overs, they bowled well, they bowled the tight lines, so obviously we have to work on.”
“We have one day to go before the next game. So obviously our focus is on the first 10-15 overs and I think definitely we have the experience and we have the backing. It’s just that we have to go and use our experience in the next game.”
Asked about the logic in dropping teenage opener Shafali Verma and opening with Yastika, Das revealed that she has been given a break. “She (Shafali) got a fair chance for the last seven eight games and I thought we could give her a break. She’s a really talented batter and I hope in this break, she gets going and she’ll come back stronger in the next games.”
“We have seen in the practice matches and before matches, (Yastika) she’s a really good bat and she has the strokes – with the top order batsman and as opener, she did well, so we thought she will come good. But she has just played one game; I hope she will come good in the next matches.”