In the second T20 match against Bangladesh, India initially found themselves in a difficult situation after the first over of the second innings. They appeared deflated and were on the verge of suffering an embarrassing defeat. India’s captain, Harmanpreet Kaur, stuck with the same lineup that secured a convincing seven-wicket win in the previous match and chose to bat first, aiming for a target score of around 150.
However, Bangladesh’s spinners posed a significant challenge to India’s batting lineup. The home team’s spinners effectively restricted India’s scoring opportunities, resulting in a disappointing total of 95-8. Adding to India’s woes, Pooja Vastrakar’s first over went for 10 runs, further denting their confidence.
Despite the challenging situation, India’s spinners, led by the experienced Deepti Sharma, along with newcomers Minnu Mani and Anusha Bareddy, and part-timer Shafali Verma, turned the tide in their favor. They put Bangladesh under pressure with a formidable spin attack, leading to Bangladesh’s eventual collapse and an eight-run defeat, securing the series victory for India.
When India came out to bat, they seemed confident, buoyed by their previous dominant win. Shafali Verma showcased her aggressive batting prowess by smashing three consecutive boundaries off Marufa Akter’s in-swingers, allowing India to reach a solid score of 29-0 after the first four overs. However, the spin trio of Nahida Akter, Sultana Khatun, and Fahima Khatun tightened the grip on India’s innings, resulting in a middle-order collapse as India reached 51-4 midway through their innings.
Jemimah Rodrigues and Harleen Deol attempted to stabilize the innings and rebuild, but their efforts fell short as both departed with single-digit scores. The lack of depth and solidity in India’s middle order became evident. Questions surrounding India’s batting depth will likely grow louder, especially as they prepare for upcoming series against South Africa, England, and Australia, as well as the Asian Games.
In an attempt to find the right combinations, India left out lower-order hitters like Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, and Sneh Rana, opting for the all-round abilities of Amanjot Kaur and Pooja Vastrakar. However, even the decision to send Vastrakar to bat at number nine did not prove fruitful for India.
While India’s middle-order batting and fast-bowling unit lack solidity and depth, the same cannot be said for their spinners. The spinners showcased their skills, taking control of the match and proving their effectiveness, particularly considering India’s next big assignments are likely to be played in spin-friendly home conditions.
Minnu Mani, in her debut series, stood out with her performances. She made an impact early on, picking up a wicket in the second over to halt Bangladesh’s momentum and claiming another wicket in her final over. Alongside Anusha Bareddy and Deepti Sharma, Mani played a significant role in suffocating Bangladesh’s top order, limiting them to a poor score of 41-4 after eight overs. While Bangladesh’s Nigar Sultana smartly played the spin, her resistance came to an end when she got stumped off Deepti’s delivery.
With Sultana’s dismissal, India’s victory became almost certain, and Shafali Verma further sealed the win by taking all three of her wickets in the final over. Despite the challenges faced by India’s batting lineup, their spinners rescued the team and paved the way for a crucial series win against Bangladesh.