How India widened pacer pool

Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey have been shouldering the Indian pace attack for the longest time but the team has now found a few fresh legs to support them.

India have now unearthed the likes of Meghna Singh and Ritika Thakur to go along with Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel and Simran Bahadur who are capable of bowling at the international level.

Traditionally, the Indian attack in women’s cricket consisted mostly of spinners but over the years, the team has realised that in order to succeed in foreign conditions like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and England, they will have to develop pace bowlers.

This is exactly what the Ramesh Powar led Indian team management is currently doing.

In fact, it was heartening to see how Renuka Singh and Meghna Singh bowled in the multi-format series against Australia in 2021. It did not seem that they were inexperienced particularly in the powerplay and held their own.

This has got Indian head coach Ramesh Powar quite excited for the future.

“After coming back from the UK tour, we set some goals and I think those goals were achieved. I think we were looking at the seamers’ attack to support Jhulan, which we were struggling with in England. I think the way Meghna Singh bowled, the way Pooja Vastrakar bowled, the way Renuka Singh bowled, I think that was the objective – to find a pace battery that we can invest in and we can carry on with those players into the World Cup.”

“You need characters to win the World Cup. We stand at a juncture where Mithali and Jhulan will phase out at some point. We tested young bowlers like Meghana Singh and Renuka Thakur. We wanted to test our players. If you are not performing your role, you will be sidelined. We don’t allow someone to take their place for granted. The players who had to sit out were given proper chances,” the coach said.

What is even more encouraging for India is that the next ODI world cup is set to be played in New Zealand in 2022 where swing bowlers call the shots. With both Meghna and Renuka being swing bowlers, it will be heartening to see a 4-prong Indian pace bowling attack with Shikha Pandey and Jhulan Goswami leading the way.

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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