Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Women's Cricket

Despite extra practice session, shoddy fielding lets India down in T20 WC semi vs Australia

India dropped two catches and missed a stumping opportunity to go with multiple fumbles in the field in the semifinal.

Despite extra practice session, shoddy fielding lets India down in T20 WC semi vs Australia

Shafali Verma drops Beth Mooney


Abhijit Nair

Updated: 24 Feb 2023 5:36 AM GMT

India, on Thursday, lost to Australia by 5 runs in the semifinal of the 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Capetown, South Africa. After being asked to bowl first, the Indians restricted the Southern Stars to 172/4 in their 20 overs, but failed to chase it down.

While the Indian bowlers did well to chip away with wickets at regular intervals, their fielding was far from ideal. The women in blue dropped as many as two catches and a stumping opportunity to go with multiple fumbles in the field.

It all started in the very first over of the match, when a shaky dive from Shafali Verma ended up gifting Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy an extra run.

Meg Lanning - the Australian captain, who went on to remain unbeaten 49 was dropped when she was batting on just one by Richa Ghosh behind the stumps. There was also a missed stumping chance against Lanning.

This was followed by Shafali Verma putting down a sitter of Beth Mooney at the long-off boundary - to make matters worse the U19 World Cup winning captain parried it away to the fence when the batter was on 32. She went on to record a half century.

All these small mistakes in the World Cup semifinal cost India dearly, despite an extra fielding session on the eve of the contest as revealed by commentator Ian Bishop on air.

Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur agreed to the sentiment in the post match press conference.

"Obviously, we could have been better in the field. We dropped a couple of catches and made some mistakes. We need to learn from it," Harmanpreet said.

The player of the match in the semifinal - Australia's Ashleigh Gardner, too stressed that the fielding was the only difference between the two sides in the semifinal.

"Yes, I think so (fielding was the difference). Ellyse Perry herself saved some six runs close to the boundary. So, to think whether it's dropped catches, missed opportunities in the field, those ultimately add up to a lot of runs. I think we really took those moments when we needed to. At the end that could have been something that I guess was the difference between us and them," Gardner said.

The Indian fielding has been shoddy for a long time now. They have been clumsy in the field throughout the World Cup.

"We need to improve our fielding," was what Jemimah Rodrigues echoed in a post match press conference after playing a match-wicket innings against Pakistan in their World Cup opener.

Things have barely improved since then. Catches have gone down at regular intervals and opposition batters have managed to successfully run non-existent doubles and triples against India. These little things can cost you the match more often than not.

India are undoubtedly one of the most talented teams in women's cricket but until and unless the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side improves in the field, they would mostly end up playing catch-up to their opponents like they did on Thursday.

Next Story