Antigua: India failed to decode the England puzzle as they crashed out of the ICC Women’s World T20 semi-finals after an eight-wicket loss on Friday. Batting first, the Women in Blue put up a poor show with the bat, bundling out for 112 in 19.4 overs with opener Smriti Mandhana (33 of 24 balls) the highest scorer.
However, as the Indian eves failed to struggle slow wicket, Twitterati raged at coach Ramesh Powar and the team management's decision of leaving out experienced campaigner Mithali Raj in such an important contest.
Ramesh Powar was not even the first choice Captain for Mumbai. How can we think of giving him the charge of our international team. #BCCI— Swapnil (@swapnilk27) November 23, 2018
Easy to diss the think-tank for not playing Mithali even in the SF....but if the reason is to give priority to role over reputation, Indian cricket has taken a giant leap courtesy its women. #WWT20 #IndvEng— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 23, 2018
Can understand, if you have to, that you leave out Mithali in a 180 game. But on a tough pitch? Then you play your best players and she is that. https://t.co/n3bbSodiC6— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 23, 2018
It’s not a pitch where you can hit through the line and fetch boundaries. Mithali Raj would have been ideal on this pitch. Wrong move by India to drop Mithali. But India still good enough to beat ENG.#ICCWWT20— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) November 23, 2018
I've been saying for a while the Mithali Raj should be batting in the middle order in T20Is for India, not opening. Ramesh Powar has gone a step further today, leaving her out altogether, and continuing to be bold.— Snehal Pradhan (@SnehalPradhan) November 22, 2018
What a statement. #WT20
India Women lost seven wickets in their last 27 balls today and this is where they needed the experience and calmness of Mithali Raj.#INDvENG— #PSL2019 #PSL4 #PSL4 #PSL2019 (@The_PSL2019) November 23, 2018
Indian team did a biggest mistake by dropping Mithali Raj, and paid price for that! You can't win crucial matches without your best and most experienced player in your side. India missed a golden opportunity to win a world cup this time too. Hope will learn from their mistake.— Pradip Nirbhavane (@pradeepni) November 23, 2018
Dropping the most experienced Player (Mithali Raj) in World Cup is the live example that in case anyone want to drop Dhoni in WC :) !!— Vidyadhar (@Vidyadhar_Dhoni) November 23, 2018
On which earth the team drops key player in semi final? 🤦🏻♀️— MOMINA SARWAR 🇵🇰🇵🇰 (@iamhafeezgirl) November 23, 2018
Weird decision.— S.A.H (@SAHTPW1) November 23, 2018
Women cricket में भी Fixing— Ajay Sharma (@ImAjay45) November 23, 2018
India needed someone who can anchor the innings and can build a platform for a big total & nobody could have been a better option than @M_Raj03— Vipul K.S. Singh (@Singh__Vipul) November 23, 2018
Why mithali was not played can't understand it??— Harish Mehta (@HarishM96553918) November 23, 2018
Was there ego problems between??? She is the most experienced player in the side!!!
One thing to be bold and another to be foolish..Raj was needed on this wicket.. headless batting and gifted away the game..— SJ (@justshivas) November 23, 2018
#INDvsENG No wonder. Indian batters running BTW wickets and batting is like gully cricket. With Ramesh Powar as coach what else can we expect? Team needs improvement innattitude, batting, Fielding, catching, everything— Aaram (@adirai_ram) November 23, 2018
Ramesh Powar , wanted to be an Indian Muttiah Muralitharan but ended up being an Indian Greg Chappel by dropping Mithali Raj from the world cup semi final against England. Sack Ravi Shastri later, first sack sasta Greg Chappel.— Ojas. (@Ojasism) November 23, 2018
Despite losing a couple of wickets early on, Heather Knight and Co coasted to a convincing victory in just 17.1 overs that brought an end to India’s campaign.
"Whatever we decided, we decided for the team. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, no regrets. I'm proud of the way my girls played through the tournament," captain Harmanpreet Kaur said at the post-match presentation party.
"This is a learning for us because we are a young team. Sometimes you have to change your game according to the wicket. England bowled really well, read the wicket really well. It was not an easy total to chase, and our bowlers bowled really well. We stretched the match till the 18th over. I think we are a young team and we still need to work on our mental strength. If we can work on how to play under pressure, that will change how we play these games," she added.
England face Australia in the final on Sunday....