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Women's Cricket

'Yastika Bhatia was being looked at as the aggressive opener': India's top order disappoints again

India managed only 198 vs New Zealand as the top order failed to get runs again. Captain Mithali Raj and batting coach SS Das dissect the performance.

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Yastika Bhatia of India in action vs New Zealand (ICC)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 10 March 2022 9:48 AM GMT

Captain Mithali Raj had no hesitation in admitting that top order's performance hasn't been up to the mark as India succumbed to a 62-run defeat against New Zealand in the ICC Women's World Cup.

India managed only 198 in a chase of 260 against the White Ferns after only 50 runs were scored off 20 overs on Thursday.

"Our batting, especially the top and middle order needs to fire because other teams are posting 250-260," Raj said at post-match presentation ceremony.

India batting coach SS Das also said the top order needs to fire. She said Yastika Bhatia was supposed to play a more attacking role but failed to probably because it was her first World Cup match.

"The top order has to fire. We have the experience. We have to express ourselves in the next game. The plan was to go hard at the top. But NZ bowled well in the first 15 overs. Yastika was being looked at as the aggressive opener. This was only her first game in the World Cup. I'm sure she'll come good," he said at the post match press conference.

Mithali also said the Indian team lacked a batter who could take the game deep.

"We thought it was chaseable but provided we had the top order going. But back-to-back wickets put a lot of pressure because we didn't have batter who can take it deep. There was bounce and good carry off the surface but it was not a tough strip to bat on. Their seamers were hitting the right areas with the bounce, but it wasn't unplayable and we could have done better," she added.

Raj has expressed the same concern after the win against Pakistan in India's campaign opener when the lower order made up for the faltering top order. The silver lining for India once again was the bowling effort according to the skipper as they were able to restrict the hosts, who were cruising towards a huge total at one stage, to 260 for 9.

"Our bowlers have done well today and earlier as well. After the early wickets we got, the way they had a partnership I thought they'd get around 270-280. There was bounce and it got slower in the second innings," Raj observed.

For home team skipper Sophie Devine, it was a "complete performance".

"Really complete performance. We built partnerships throughout, (Amy) Satterthwaite was outstanding, we laid the platform and we knew it was a good score," Devine said.

(With PTI inputs)

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