India endure tough blow ahead of 2nd ODI against Australia

Mackay: India women’s batting coach Shiv Sunder Das on Thursday confirmed star batter Harmanpreet Kaur is still not fit, and hence would not be available for the second ODI against Australia.

Australia had thrashed India by nine wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series, which was played on Tuesday. Chasing 226, the Southern Stars got over the line with 54 balls to spare as Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes put on 126 for the first wicket.

“I think right now she (Harmanpreet) is not fit and I think she is not available for the next game,” said Das while replying to an ANI query during a virtual pre-match press conference.

“I think we are looking at the top-order, and we are looking to have a good start. In terms of middle-order, we have really worked hard in terms of plans, we will look to execute it in tomorrow’s game. We are working on our batting aspect, we are looking at a good start, to begin with, and in terms of middle overs, we are looking to go at 5 runs per over and then six runs per over to achieve the target of 250,” he added. 

India registered a score of 225/8 in the first ODI owing to Mithali Raj’s knock of 61 runs, but none of the other batters were able to stay at the crease for a long time.

It was due to Richa Ghosh’s cameo that India was able to get over the 220-run mark. “We have identified a few areas, I had one to one chat with all the batters and tomorrow we will see the difference. I had one to one chat with Smriti Mandhana, we have worked in the nets. She is a world-class player and we are backing her ability,” said Das.

“In the middle overs, the running between the wickets is an area we are working on. It is a work in progress, we have few young batters in our side and we need to give them some time, they will definitely fire,” he added. 

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