INDW vs ENGW, 3rd T20I: New faces boost women’s prospects in T20Is


MUMBAI: Even though they lost the series to England, the Indian women’s team will be heartened by the performances of their new inductees in the five-wicket win the final T20I.
After India’s 38-run defeat in the opening game, captain Harmanpreet Kaur revealed she had asked the selectors to try a few fresh faces with an eye on the T20 World Cupin Bangladesh next year.And the way seam bowling allrounderAmanjot Kaur and, spinners Saika Ishaque and Shreyanka Patil delivered in the final game, there’s reason to believe that the call wasn’t misplaced.
Picked in the XI after pulling off a blinder in the second T20I on Saturday night, Amanjot justified her selection, taking 2/25 in three overs. She then hit the winning runs in a four-ball 13-run cameo which sealed a tense 127-run chase. The way the 23-year-old batted at the crunch reflected her temperament.
After the game, fielding coach Munish Bali described Amanjot as an ‘impact player.’ “She bowled the fourth over in the powerplay and did very well. Her fielding was top class. In the second game, she made an immediate impact with a brilliant catch. In the chase on Sunday with 12 needed of as much deliveries, she hit a cover drive off the first delivery she faced,” Bali praised.
Amanjot’s fine show left England’s head coach Jon Lewis impressed. “She played a lovely little innings under pressure. She should be a much better cricketer for it,” he said.
While India’s fielding was shoddy in the first game, it improved a fair bit in the second and third games. Bali put down the hosts’ initial struggles in the field to a lack of match practice under lights. In July, India played three T20Is in Bangladesh and in September, three T20Is in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, but those were day games. “We are playing our first game under lights after the WPL. Getting used to playing under lights is difficult but we started practising and the results are there to see,” Bali said.
Saika and Shreyanka made their international debut in the first game and went for 82 in their eight overs. In the third match, they took 6-41 in eight overs, leaving England in trouble on a spin-friendly pitch. The duo was instrumental in the visitors being bowled out for 126 in 20 overs.
“Ishaque obviously had a really good WPL and it was not surprising that she has been selected for India. She has got great control. She is really smart, uses the angles and turns the ball, fields well too and can bat too. A real talent,” gushed Lewis. India’s player of the series, though, was pacer Renuka Singh Thakur. Snapping wickets at will in the Powerplay, Renuka was sensational, finishing with seven wickets @ 10.85, and a superb economy rate of 6.33.
In the first T20I, she reduced England to 2-2 in the first over of the match. Showering praise on Renuka after smashing a matchwinning 47-ball 75 in that game, English opener Dani Wyat had said, “She bowls quite well at the crease and angles it in. But she’s also got the one that goes the other way.


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