India were knocked out of the ICC Women’s World T20 as they lost to England by 8 wickets in the second semifinal at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday.
Batting first after winning the toss, India were bundled out for a meagre 112. England chased down the target easily with 8 wickets and 17 balls to spare.
While England dominated India in almost every field, India made a surprise decision to leave out the experienced Mithali Raj in the knockout game.
Experts like Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ayaz Memon questioned the logic behind Mithali Raj’s ommission from the playing XI.
Can understand, if you have to, that you leave out Mithali in a 180 game. But on a tough pitch? Then you play your best players and she is that. https://t.co/n3bbSodiC6
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 23, 2018
India paid the price for two mistakes. One in planning, by dropping Mithali on this pitch. The other in execution, by rushing down the pitch to muscle the ball in front of the pitch on a very slow pitch.#ICCWWT20
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) November 23, 2018
Alas, @BCCIWomen stumble in the semis. Game effort to defend paltry score but not good enough. Not playing @M_Raj03 in such a crucial match baffling. This is where experience could have made a vital difference.
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) November 23, 2018
However, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur defended the decision and said that she has “no regrets” as it was decision taken keeping team’s interests in mind.
“Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, no regrets. I’m proud of the way my girls played through the tournament,” Harmanpreet said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Mithali’s strike-rate, especially in the powerplay overs, has been an issue for a while now but considering that Taniya Bhatia hasn’t been able to accelerate and Veda Krishnamurthy was in poor form in the middle order, the decision to drop a seasoned campaigner boomeranged on India.
“This is a learning for us because we are a young team. Sometimes you have to change your game according to the wicket. England bowled really well, read the wicket really well. It was not an easy total to chase, and our bowlers bowled really well. We stretched the match till the 18th over,” Harmanpreet explained.