Commonwealth Games 2022: What is ailing the Indian women's cricket team?
Indian women's cricket team has a knack for losing games from a commanding position. Here are some takeaways from recent performances.
A silver medal at Commonwealth Games 2022 looks like a very good achievement for any sporting event. But, the Indian women's cricket team know they had a clear shot at the gold and they messed up on their way.
The Indian cricket team had a good mix of young talent and experienced players. With the likes of Renuka Singh and Jemimah Rodrigues stepping up when needed, India looked formidable for most part of the tournament.
Though the Australian team has been in a league of their own, this Indian team has always threatened the Southern Stars only to crumble when it matters the most.
This is the third big final India has lost in the space of the last 5 years - two of them against Australia. From the 2017 World Cup to the 2020 T20 World Cup and now the Commonwealth Games gold medal encounter.
What exactly goes wrong for the Indian women's cricket team against Australia?
There is a certain worrying pattern for the Indian team against Australia. They tend to dominate for a majority of the contest before throwing it away with some schoolboy errors.
The group stage and the final matches are testaments to this pattern. In the group stage, India had Australia down to 49/5 after Renuka's inspired spell, but they didn't attack after that leading to a partnership between Grace Harris and Ash Gardner, which eventually cost them the match.
In the final, India were cruising with 8 wickets in hands and just 44 runs required off 33 balls. With Harmanpreet and Jemimah at the crease, it looked like an easy win for India.
But like it happens always, India fell like a pack of cards and lost 6 wickets in the space of 29 runs, gifting wrapping the gold medal to Australia.
What are possible solutions?
India needs a fresh approach to these games where the pressure is defying. A mental conditioning coach can be helpful for India, someone like Paddy Upton will be a big help for these girls.
One of the issues the Indian team has is of lack of finishers. India doesn't have any designated finisher who is responsible for taking the game over the line. A designated finisher needs to be groomed and included in the setup to tackle this issue.
Another issue that needs some attention is India's fielding in crucial moments. Time and again, India has dropped catches, fluffed run-outs and given extra runs which result in a loss. The only feasible solution for this is to increase domestic cricket which will present an ample amount of game time to these players and they can understand the handling of pressure better.