India’s first-round exit from the 2013 Women’s World Cup was as shocking as the men’s team being sent packing from the 2007 edition in the Caribbean. The Indian eves went into the tournament high on hopes, being the home side, and also had the team which had the talent to deliver in the mega event. Somehow, things did not fall into place after a near-perfect start against West Indies. With only three games being played to decide the Super Six spots, it was imperative for the Indians to win at least two of the three matches, which wasn’t the case. We list down a few reasons why India came unstuck at the World Cup.
Opening blues: Thirush Kamini and Poonam Raut gave India a brilliant start in the first match of the tournament against West Indies. However, they failed to carry the momentum into the other two big clashes. Raut fell early in both the matches, and while Kamini hung around for a while against Sri Lanka, she never looked convincing, and eventually played an extremely poor shot to throw her wicket away. India were chasing tall scores against England as well as the Lankans. Thus, it was paramount for at least one of the openers to play a long innings. The fact that it did not happen made the job a lot easier for the opposition bowlers.
Lack of runs from the skipper: Mithali Raj was to be India’s go-to batswoman in the series, being their best batter. While she did not have much to do against
West Indies, Team India needed her supreme talent desperately in the next two clashes. She fell for a single figure score against England, and looked good for a brief while against the Lankans, but her cameo was too short to change the momentum of the game. Considering how heavily India depend on Raj when it comes to their batting, her dual failures put the side in an extremely difficult position.
No support for Jhulan Goswami: India’s best, and fastest bowler, was the team’s most effective one in this tournament as well. She picked up wickets in all three games, but while she was economical against West Indies, Goswami went for a few too many runs against the other two teams. It did not help that she found little support from the other members of the bowling outfit. Nagarajan Niranjana and Gouher Sultana were good against the West Indies, but not so good against the Englishmen. And, against the Lankans, the bowling completely fell apart as the batswomen went on an all-out attack.
Just not good enough: Thatis possibly the best way to sum up India’s failed campaign. They had their moments againstEngland and Sri Lanka, but once partnerships began to flourish the captain as well the bowlers seemed to run out of ideas. Raj tried everything possible, but just could not get India out of the hole. Even in the field, India looked down and out every time they were on the back foot. Perhaps, this wasn’t destined to be their World Cup. Better luck next time.
--By A Cricket Analyst