Edulji urges Harmanpreet, Jemimah to ‘pull up their socks’ ahead of T20 World Cup 

Women's CricZone Staff
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Edulji urges Harmanpreet, Jemimah to ‘pull up their socks’ ahead of T20 World Cup 

Diana Edulji © ICC

Former India skipper Diana Edulji has urged T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur and top-order batter young Jemimah Rodrigues to ‘pull up their socks’ heading into the T20 World Cup starting in Australia on February 21. Edulji’s comments came in after India lost their last seven wickets for a mere 29 runs to lose the T20 tri-series final and that too from a position where Kaur & Co. needed only 41 runs from 35 balls.

The dismissal of half-centurion Smriti Mandhana in the 15th over exposed the infirmity of the middle order yet again. “Both Harmanpreet and Jemimah need to pull up their socks,” Edulji, who played 20 Tests and 36 ODIs for India, told PTI. “Maybe Harman should give up captaincy and play her natural game. Something seems to be troubling her. But who else takes over then. If Smriti is handed captaincy, it might affect her batting too.” And in a week's time both Australia and India will face each other in the T20 World Cup opener in Sydney.  

The only positive from that Indian batting line-up in the T20 tri-series was Mandhana’s form. She has been in tremendous touch in Australia topping the batting charts with 216 runs from five games at an average of 43.20. Baring Mandhana, all the other batters – middle-order in particular – got their starts but failed to capitalize resulting in defeats against England and Australia in the round-robin stage. 

“They are so lazy that they never try for a second,” Edulji said. “These are the things that make all the difference. It is a single or a boundary, there is nothing in between. There is something wrong with this team. This is a team that can win every game and it does win from an unlikely situation but the next game they are losing from a comfortable position. They are simply not consistent enough.”

“They have all the facilities at their disposal now, at par with men, and yet they have not been able to play consistent cricket and win ICC trophies. If they play like the way they are playing, they will make the semifinals again (at the T20 World Cup), but I don’t see them winning the trophy,” added Edulji.

Edulji also came hard on the domestic setup considering the fact; there are only three frontline pacers in the squad for the mega tournament which otherwise looks a spin-heavy attack for India. Although spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad topped the bowling charts with 10 scalps from five games, Edulji, had a different take on India’s reliance on spinners.

“It just shows there are no quality pacers in domestic cricket,” Edulji said. “You only have (swing bowler) Shikha Pandey of some caliber. What is being done to produce pacers? We are bound to play with a spin-heavy attack if there are no pacers around. We are not concentrating on junior cricket enough. How come Australia have pacers who can bowl at 120 kmph and we don’t?”