Mithali Raj UNHAPPY With Harmanpreet Kaur’s India Women’s Team After Heartbreaking Defeat In Semifinal Of T20 World Cup 2023, Wants Team To Work on THIS Department | Cricket News

Since becoming runners-up in the 2017 ODI World Cup in England, women’s cricket in India has come a long way, winning the Asia Cup and bagging the maiden U19 Women’s T20 World Cup Trophy. However, there is still more to be done to develop women’s cricket in the country. The upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL), starting on March 4, is expected to be another landmark moment in the growth of women’s cricket.

“All players understand the importance of having two- and three-dimensional players now. Players with only one side to their game are not as desired in today’s game. Only players with exceptional talent like Meg Lanning, Smriti Mandhana and a few others who are extraordinary batters can thrive or a Darcie Brown or Shabnim Ismail who can clock 120 plus. Everyone else has developed their skillset and added to their overall game.”

“For example, we’ve seen how England’s Sophie Ecclestone has developed her skills with the bat in the death overs, with her cameo against India proving decisive come the end. Grace Harris can contribute with the ball and take wickets for Australia, so I think establishing yourself as an all-rounder, or someone with multiple skills, is the way forward for women’s cricket,” she wrote.

Former India captain and legendary batter Mithali Raj, in her column for the International Cricket Council (ICC), believes that multi-dimensional players and more fast bowlers are needed to further develop women’s cricket. Mithali believes that players who are exceptional batters, like Meg Lanning and Smriti Mandhana, or bowlers who can clock 120 plus, like Darcie Brown or Shabnim Ismail, can thrive. However, for everyone else, developing a range of skills is vital.

India has several multi-skilled players, including captain Harmanpreet Kaur, opener Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Sneh Rana, and Pooja Vastrakar. The U19 Women’s T20 World Cup-winning team also had several multi-skilled players, including Gongadi Trisha, Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, and Archana Devi. However, Mithali thinks that India needs to groom more fast-bowling all-rounders, like Titas Sadhu, Hurley Gala, and Amanjot Kaur, to complement Vastrakar, who is a rare fast-bowling all-rounder in the Indian women’s cricket set-up.

“One of the themes of the tournament has been the rise of fast bowlers, who have really dominated and helped their teams to victory, which is not usually the case with the T20 format where you see batters scoring big fifties and hundreds,” added Mithali.

Mithali also believes that India needs to develop its fast-bowling department, which could be a dominant force in the future. In the recent Women’s T20 World Cup, South Africa’s fast bowlers, including tearaway Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Nadine de Klerk, and Marizanne Kapp, took 22% of all the wickets by pace bowlers. India’s pace-bowling attack took only 12 wickets in the tournament.

To develop a bigger pool of fast bowlers, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru needs to get their strategies and planning right, and India needs to have a fixed coaching staff. The think tank needs to take cues from Mithali’s suggestions if India hopes to shine in the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh and the 2025 Women’s ODI World Cup in India.

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