Analysis | CWC 22 | M#8 - NZ v IND


Written By: Jeet Vachharajani & All Over Cricket
Date: 11-03-2022

Picture Courtesy: ICC / Twitter


What went wrong with India’s bowling


India won the toss and opted to bowl first. Mithali at the toss presentation mentioned that the reason why they are opting to bowl first is because they expect dew in the second half which will make it hard for the spinners since they are banking on their spinners.


This decision made complete sense and the pitch after 10 overs in the 2nd innings looked like an absolute belter to bat on. But, what followed after winning the toss and mentioning about the spinners was 27 overs of pace, and 23 overs of spin. That was more overs of pace bowled than spin than the time they landed in New Zealand for the ODI series.




What was interesting was the utilization of Deepti Sharma. Spinners are known to have a better record in the middle-overs since that is the time when they operate. But, Deepti is an incredible death-bowler and has a terrific record in that phase. Guess what? She did not bowl a single over at the death. She generally does bowl 2 overs in the last 5, but India opted for Meghna Singh who conceded 11 runs in the penultimate over.


Deepti Sharma’s bowling – Not being looked enough at?


While every bowler has come under criticism so far. But, the one who seems to keep escaping it is Deepti Sharma. She’s an all-rounder and it’s hard to drop her, maybe I wouldn’t drop her either. But, one cannot run away from the fact that her bowling has been extremely poor for so many years.


There’s been barely anything promising from Deepti since 2018. The economy has been high, the averages have been higher. The worst part is when we compare her performances against the top-ranked teams (1-5, excl. India, of course) and the bottom-ranked teams (6-10).


She averages nearly 39 with the ball with an economy of nearly 5 against the top teams as compared to an average of just 17 with an economy of less than 3 against the bottom-ranked teams. Where’s the impact when it matters? Add her extremely slow batting into the picture and you’d question how she is still there in the squad?



There’s still that feeling somewhere deep down that she can’t be left out. But, things can be changed. She can bat lower down the order when she has no choice, but to attack.


Spinners are known to operate in the middle-overs. But, their returns either have a good average of a good economy, Deepti has none. Since the ODI series against Australia, Deepti has an average of 40+ in the middle-overs and an economy of 6+.


With the ball, her strength lies in the PP and at the death. This means that she needs to have a couple of overs in the PP and at least 3-4 at the death with the balance being during the middle-overs. This way, her economy might still potentially remain high, but she’ll have wickets in the column and that’s the impact I am talking about.


New Zealand’s penetrative bowling powerplay


Defending a seemingly chaseable 260, New Zealand couldn’t afford to gift India easy runs in the powerplay, much like they had done in their previous two matches.


Against the West Indies, Lea Tahuhu and Jess Kerr routinely overpitched or bowled short and wide, which, unsurprisingly, proved to be bread and butter for Hayley Matthews. Against Bangladesh, the White Ferns were similarly sloppy. Tahuhu conceded 18 runs in her first two overs as Bangladesh accumulated 41 runs in the five-over powerplay in the rain-reduced fixture.




Today, however, off-spinner Frankie Mackay opened the bowling alongside Jess Kerr. Mackay had the advantage of bowling to an all-left-hand top three, and gave nothing away, conceding just seven runs in her four overs. By the time she finished her first spell, India’s required run-rate jumped from 5.2 at the start of the innings to 5.8.


Jess Kerr bowled to her field when facing up to Mandhana. The over prior to dismissing her, the seamer bowled a maiden where every ball was stopped either by cover or by backward point. Unable to pierce the circle on the off-side, Mandhana felt compelled to go over the top, and that is when she chipped Kerr straight to Suzie Bates at (you guessed it) cover.


When Tahuhu was brought on for the last over of the Powerplay, she wrapped Deepti Sharma on the pads bowling from wide of the crease. It was a change of role for New Zealand’s quickest bowler who may have just found herself a new role as New Zealand’s enforcer.


Dot - dot. Who’s there?


The reason why Shafali was backed despite a bad form was a result of India wanting to play Deepti Sharma at #3. This enabled an RHB-LHB opening combination with Deepti at #3.


If India wanted to play Yastika, it would have led to 3 LHBs in the top-order and it’s something I had been emphasizing very strongly. The reason was simple as to why one shouldn’t opt for such a tactic. The reason is that it allows the opponent to pounce on that with ease. New Zealand is a team that has a wide variety of bowlers. And I am not talking about RAP vs. RAO vs. RALB. It’s a variety within their RAP group as well.


They have Jess Kerr who swings it away from LHBs, they have Hannah Rowe who extracts more bounce, they have Lea Tahuhu who has the pace + the low-arm action with late movement, and the list goes on! To no surprise, the White Ferns started with Frances Mackay and Jess Kerr, the two ideal bowlers! This allowed them to bowl 8 overs in tandem for 19/1 with 36 dot balls!




1st wicket fell, and in came Deepti Sharma who is a slow starter. Deepti went, in came Mithali Raj who is a slow starter. Yastika departed, in came Harmanpreet who is a slow starter. There’s no sense of realization that you should never group 3-4 batters together who are known to be slow starters. Always separate them up by putting an aggressive batter in between. India has the luxury of doing that. They have Richa Ghosh, Sneh Rana, and Pooja Vastrakar.


India chewed up 160 dot balls in total, but that was not the only issue. The issue was how many they scored on the non-dot balls. And that’s where we see a different story altogether. New Zealand faced quite a few dot balls as well, but their SR on the non-dot balls was exceedingly high, which means they ran more singles, doubles, and scored more boundaries. India’s non-dot ball scoring was ones and occasional boundaries.



422

Analysis | CWC 22 | M#8 - NZ v IND


Written By: Jeet Vachharajani & All Over Cricket
Date: 11-03-2022

Picture Courtesy: ICC / Twitter


What went wrong with India’s bowling


India won the toss and opted to bowl first. Mithali at the toss presentation mentioned that the reason why they are opting to bowl first is because they expect dew in the second half which will make it hard for the spinners since they are banking on their spinners.


This decision made complete sense and the pitch after 10 overs in the 2nd innings looked like an absolute belter to bat on. But, what followed after winning the toss and mentioning about the spinners was 27 overs of pace, and 23 overs of spin. That was more overs of pace bowled than spin than the time they landed in New Zealand for the ODI series.




What was interesting was the utilization of Deepti Sharma. Spinners are known to have a better record in the middle-overs since that is the time when they operate. But, Deepti is an incredible death-bowler and has a terrific record in that phase. Guess what? She did not bowl a single over at the death. She generally does bowl 2 overs in the last 5, but India opted for Meghna Singh who conceded 11 runs in the penultimate over.


Deepti Sharma’s bowling – Not being looked enough at?


While every bowler has come under criticism so far. But, the one who seems to keep escaping it is Deepti Sharma. She’s an all-rounder and it’s hard to drop her, maybe I wouldn’t drop her either. But, one cannot run away from the fact that her bowling has been extremely poor for so many years.


There’s been barely anything promising from Deepti since 2018. The economy has been high, the averages have been higher. The worst part is when we compare her performances against the top-ranked teams (1-5, excl. India, of course) and the bottom-ranked teams (6-10).


She averages nearly 39 with the ball with an economy of nearly 5 against the top teams as compared to an average of just 17 with an economy of less than 3 against the bottom-ranked teams. Where’s the impact when it matters? Add her extremely slow batting into the picture and you’d question how she is still there in the squad?



There’s still that feeling somewhere deep down that she can’t be left out. But, things can be changed. She can bat lower down the order when she has no choice, but to attack.


Spinners are known to operate in the middle-overs. But, their returns either have a good average of a good economy, Deepti has none. Since the ODI series against Australia, Deepti has an average of 40+ in the middle-overs and an economy of 6+.


With the ball, her strength lies in the PP and at the death. This means that she needs to have a couple of overs in the PP and at least 3-4 at the death with the balance being during the middle-overs. This way, her economy might still potentially remain high, but she’ll have wickets in the column and that’s the impact I am talking about.


New Zealand’s penetrative bowling powerplay


Defending a seemingly chaseable 260, New Zealand couldn’t afford to gift India easy runs in the powerplay, much like they had done in their previous two matches.


Against the West Indies, Lea Tahuhu and Jess Kerr routinely overpitched or bowled short and wide, which, unsurprisingly, proved to be bread and butter for Hayley Matthews. Against Bangladesh, the White Ferns were similarly sloppy. Tahuhu conceded 18 runs in her first two overs as Bangladesh accumulated 41 runs in the five-over powerplay in the rain-reduced fixture.




Today, however, off-spinner Frankie Mackay opened the bowling alongside Jess Kerr. Mackay had the advantage of bowling to an all-left-hand top three, and gave nothing away, conceding just seven runs in her four overs. By the time she finished her first spell, India’s required run-rate jumped from 5.2 at the start of the innings to 5.8.


Jess Kerr bowled to her field when facing up to Mandhana. The over prior to dismissing her, the seamer bowled a maiden where every ball was stopped either by cover or by backward point. Unable to pierce the circle on the off-side, Mandhana felt compelled to go over the top, and that is when she chipped Kerr straight to Suzie Bates at (you guessed it) cover.


When Tahuhu was brought on for the last over of the Powerplay, she wrapped Deepti Sharma on the pads bowling from wide of the crease. It was a change of role for New Zealand’s quickest bowler who may have just found herself a new role as New Zealand’s enforcer.


Dot - dot. Who’s there?


The reason why Shafali was backed despite a bad form was a result of India wanting to play Deepti Sharma at #3. This enabled an RHB-LHB opening combination with Deepti at #3.


If India wanted to play Yastika, it would have led to 3 LHBs in the top-order and it’s something I had been emphasizing very strongly. The reason was simple as to why one shouldn’t opt for such a tactic. The reason is that it allows the opponent to pounce on that with ease. New Zealand is a team that has a wide variety of bowlers. And I am not talking about RAP vs. RAO vs. RALB. It’s a variety within their RAP group as well.


They have Jess Kerr who swings it away from LHBs, they have Hannah Rowe who extracts more bounce, they have Lea Tahuhu who has the pace + the low-arm action with late movement, and the list goes on! To no surprise, the White Ferns started with Frances Mackay and Jess Kerr, the two ideal bowlers! This allowed them to bowl 8 overs in tandem for 19/1 with 36 dot balls!




1st wicket fell, and in came Deepti Sharma who is a slow starter. Deepti went, in came Mithali Raj who is a slow starter. Yastika departed, in came Harmanpreet who is a slow starter. There’s no sense of realization that you should never group 3-4 batters together who are known to be slow starters. Always separate them up by putting an aggressive batter in between. India has the luxury of doing that. They have Richa Ghosh, Sneh Rana, and Pooja Vastrakar.


India chewed up 160 dot balls in total, but that was not the only issue. The issue was how many they scored on the non-dot balls. And that’s where we see a different story altogether. New Zealand faced quite a few dot balls as well, but their SR on the non-dot balls was exceedingly high, which means they ran more singles, doubles, and scored more boundaries. India’s non-dot ball scoring was ones and occasional boundaries.



422