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India's Key Finisher in Women's T20Is vs. Bangladesh

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India Fine-Tunes for Bangladesh T20Is

India’s attention will be on their finisher in the upcoming three-match women’s T20I series against Bangladesh, set to commence on July 9. After a four-month break from international cricket, India will be looking to fine-tune their performance in key areas. While the series may not carry the same level of intensity as matches against stronger opponents like England and Australia, it presents an opportunity for India to focus on specific aspects of their game. Notably, India will be missing some key players in the bowling department, but this series will serve as a valuable platform to assess and strengthen their team balance. With important assignments ahead, including tours by England and Australia, as well as potential participation in the Asian Games, India will aim to make the most of this T20I series in Bangladesh.

Yastika Bhatia and the Role of the Wicketkeeper

In the upcoming series against Bangladesh, India will be without Richa Ghosh, leaving Yastika Bhatia and Uma Chetry as the wicketkeeping options. Yastika has previously showcased her skills as a wicketkeeperbatswoman, featuring prominently in the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and Women’s Premier League
(WPL) for the Mumbai Indians. She has often batted in the top three positions in T20Is.

On the other hand, Chetry performed well for Assam in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy, being their second-highest scorer. With a consistent batting position at No. 4, she accumulated 120 runs with an impressive strike-rate of 88.88.

In the past, India has made adjustments to the batting order to accommodate players like Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur. However, this series presents an opportunity to explore Yastika’s potential as a lower-middle-order batswoman and assess her ability to excel in that role.

Focus on the Role of the Finisher

In crucial matches like the CWG final and the T20 World Cup semi-final, India’s lack of power-hitting options in the lower-middle order proved to be their downfall. With Richa Ghosh absent from the touring squad, the responsibility falls on players such as Pooja Vastrakar, Amanjot Kaur, and Deepti Sharma to step up and fill the finisher role.

Deepti Sharma showcased her abilities as a finisher for UP Warriorz in the WPL, batting at various positions from 5 to 7 and maintaining a strike rate of 83.33 from 108 balls faced. On the other hand, Pooja Vastrakar, although limited in opportunities due to the strong Mumbai batting lineup, demonstrated an impressive strike rate of 144.89 across four innings.

Unheralded Bowlers in the Spotlight

India has heavily relied on the left-arm spinners Radha Yadav and Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the majority of their T20Is since February 2018. However, with both players unavailable, India has the option to choose between two uncapped left-arm spinners: 20-year-old Anusha Bareddy and 25-year-old Rashi Kanojiya, who did not participate in the WPL.

Rashi Kanojiya has been on the fringes of selection and was part of the title-winning Supernovas team led by Harmanpreet Kaur in the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2022. She has consistently performed for Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket and had a successful season in 2022-23, taking 19 wickets. Anusha Bareddy, representing Andhra, was part of the Emerging Teams Asia Cup.

With the absence of Renuka Singh due to injury, left-arm seamer Monica Patel, returning after a hiatus since 2021, has the opportunity to make an impact once again. It is also a chance for Meghna Singh, who has slipped in the pecking order and was overlooked in the WPL, to remind everyone of her skills ahead of upcoming important matches.

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