It was all going rather well for Asif Ali. After knocks of 51, 52, 17 and 22, at a strike rate of 131.48, against England in May, he earned a spot in the World Cup squad. Initially ignored, Ali was called up to fill the vacuum of the missing power hitter in Pakistan’s middle order. However, a cruel twist was in store.
On Thursday night, in front of a sparse crowd at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, 18-year old Jemimah Rodrigues provided more evidence of just what makes her one of the brightest sparks in the women’s game. While her colleagues in the Supernovas line-up struggled to find gaps against the Velocity bowling line-up, Rodrigues drove and flicked with ease on a sluggish track. When deliveries were not in her arc, she ran the tough singles and kept the scorecard ticking for a 48-ball 77.
Thursday Night’s umpiring error by S Ravi, when he failed to spot a no ball Lasith Malinga that allowed Mumbai Indians to sneak a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, has yet again ignited a ferocious debate on the standard of umpiring on the Indian domestic circuit.
Veda is now back in the mix, recalled for the T20 series against England. She is hoping to carry her encouraging form on the domestic circuit into these games, and ensure she seals her spot in the side.
After a thumping performance in the World Cup in 2017, which was followed by another respectable outing in the WT20 in Windies last year, the changing perceptions towards the Women in Blue is hard to miss.
As the Indian Women’s Cricket Team get ready to face New Zealand in their first international fixture after the public spat that overshadowed the side’s fine semi-final run at the World T20 last November, a stern test awaits the senior pros in particular.
With the 50-over World Cup scheduled for 2019, ODI Cricket will be the focus of attention for international teams come the new year. In 2018, some exceptional action was witnessed in the format and as the year winds down, here’s Cricketnext's ODI team of the year.
The Women’s World T20 is done and dusted and it was a memorable three weeks of action in the Caribbean. With 270 wickets falling over the course of 22 games, the bowlers took full advantage of the slow and low tracks on offer. The tournament economy rate of 5.90 is clear evidence of the primacy the ball enjoyed over the bat. However, there were some standout moments with the bat too, none more so than the Harmanpreet Kaur’s 51-ball 103 in the opener.
On Thursday, India entered the semi-finals of the Women’s World T20 against England high on confidence, but ended up surrendering meekly. After the surprise omission of the stalwart from a crucial game, the Indian batsmen needed to take on the onus in a now or never encounter.
India’s journey to the semis in the Women’s WT20 has been defined by the blitzkrieg of Harmanpreet Kaur, the aggressive approach of Smriti Mandhana, the patient batting of Mithali Raj and the assured presence of Jemimah Rodrigues so far. While the batters have led the charge, the slower bowlers have played a pivotal role in India’s unbeaten run over the tournament so far.
As Jemimah Rodrigues got close to a slower delivery by Bismah Maroof, making good use of her feet to lift it over cover in India’s clash with Pakistan, the fearlessness that has come to define the team in the last few months was all too visible. Just a few overs earlier, the 18-year-old had nearly holed out to long-off, after she lifted the ball with the turn with the intention of going square over cover.