Women’s ODI World Cup: ‘Credit to Australian batsmen for the way they started’ – Yastika Bhatia

India’s top-order batsman Yastika Bhatia on Saturday admitted that her team would have loved to take a few wickets in the power-play while defending 277 against Australia in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.

At Eden Park on Saturday, India defended 277 in the final over but Australia chased down the target with six wickets in the first three balls. In the power-play, India conceded nine boundaries as Australia reached 67/0 compared to India’s 39/2 at that stage.

“It was a defendable total. The credit goes to him for the way the Australian batsmen started. Healy and Haynes started off very aggressively. We wanted to take some wickets in the power-play. This would turn the game upside down. But he played really well,” Yastika said in a post-match press conference.

Yastika also admitted that India could have brought in more fielders into the point area when Meg Lanning was making her debut at the crease. In his knock of 97, Lanning scored heavily through point region, scoring 44 runs from the area whenever the Indian bowlers gave width, the cut being the productive shot of their day.

“We could have tried to keep the first two point fielders. But she was still scoring across the field. She was scoring runs on the side too and we had to get a fielder there. Our plan was to bowl stump to stump; We had kept a field for him. But she was still looking for a way to hit the point. We could have kept it earlier but according to the plan we had, we fielded.”

With the bat, Yastika came back to her number three spot and scored 59 off 83 balls, which included six boundaries and a 130-run stand with skipper Mithali Raj (68). “The ball was swinging a lot and the Australian fast bowlers were using the wicket. Our conversation was that we have to stay on the wicket and get at least 4-5 runs (pre-over) and make sure we don’t lose another wicket there and take the innings to 30-40 overs.”

Asked about the adjustments he made to bat at three after opening the tournament, Yastika commented, “Sir just said to me ‘don’t play too aggressive. Just play your normal game, over-aggressive’ No. Just take the responsibility of the team and play. That’s what he told me and that’s what I adjusted to my game.”

Yastika signed off saying that using Harmanpreet Kaur’s part-time off-spin as her sixth bowling option could come into play in future matches. “Harry Dee is bowling in the nets. We had in mind that we can use Harry Dee in the middle overs. But I don’t know what the captain had in mind. But we will see in future matches that if we need Harry Dee, he can bowl.”

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