Indian Women’s ODI captain Mithali Raj lamented that her bowlers lacked preparation before the ongoing home One Day International (ODI) series and it cost them the series against South Africa Women after the hosts suffered a 7-wicket defeat in the fourth ODI on Sunday (March 14).
She further stressed that India needs to improve their bowling and fielding as well while saying the hosts missed their experienced pacer, Jhulan Goswami, in the crucial fourth ODI in Lucknow.
Batting first on Sunday, India Women didn’t get so much great start, but number three batswoman Punam Raut gave the hosts big hope, as the 31-year-old not only struck a brilliant 104* but also added 103 runs for the third wicket with Mithali (45 off 71 balls) before Harmanpreet Kaur’s quickfire 54 off 35 balls to help India post 266/4 in their 50 overs against South Africa Women in Lucknow.
Defending the total, the Indian bowlers failed to put South Africa under pressure and even couldn’t take a single wicket in the first 22 overs as Lizelle Lee (69*), Laura Wolvaardt (53), Mignon du Preez (61), and Lara Goodall (59 not out) took the tourists over the line in 48.4 overs to take 3-1 lead in the ODI series.
Mithali said at the presentation ceremony: “Even if we scored more than 266, it wouldn’t be enough, the way the South Africans batted. Our bowling department needs 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.”
Goswami missed the fourth ODI due to a niggle and the captain said the team missed her experience.
She signed off, “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.”
(With PTI Inputs)