India women lose rain affected encounter against NZ despite Richa Ghosh heroics

(Cricket news) India lost against New Zealand by 63 in the rain affected 4th ODI. The match was eventually cut down to 20 overs due to heavy rain at the start of the day. The loss means that India are now staring down a whitewash right before the World Cup.

India made 6 changes to their side as Mithali Raj won the toss and put New Zealand into bat first while Harmanpreet Kaur was finally dropped from the side. India for the first time in the series played 3 seam bowlers but Jhulan Goswami wasn't one of them. The decision to bowl first in hindsight wasn't the right one but India were 2nd best in all the 3 departments as they have been in the entire series. 

The White Ferns posted a mammoth total of 191 runs thanks to an Amelia Kerr's unbeaten 68 off 33 balls. Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates and Amy Satterthwaite also played cameos. Renuka Singh Thakur picked up 2 wickets while Meghna Singh, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad got 1 scalp each. All the bowlers were expensive and sloppy throughout the innings. The fielding was once again nowhere near international level. Way too many runs were given via midfields and the placement by skipper Mithali Raj weren't good either.

India's already difficult task turned into almost impossible when Shafali Verma and Yastika Bhatia were dismissed for ducks. Pooja Vastrakar was promoted up the order but couldn't make an impact as she was dismissed after scoring just 4 runs. Mandhana was dismissed shortly after as India were struggling at 19 for 4. Mithali Raj and Richa Ghosh stiched a 77 run partnership with Ghosh scoring 52 off just 29 balls. The keeper batter hit four boundaries and four maximums in her blistering innings as Skipper Mithali Raj played 2nd fiddle with her 28 ball 30. 

Richa Ghosh's half-century was the fastest by Indian women in ODIs as it came in just 26 deliveries. Unfortunately it didn't change the result of the game as both Ghosh and Raj were dismissed in quick succession shortly after. The women in blue were bowled out for 128 runs as no one apart from Ghosh and Raj managed to trouble the Kiwis. Richa Ghosh's performance in the series is quite possibly the only positive that India can take. Now the 5th and final ODI will be all about avoiding a whitewash for India. 

India if possible should definitely make changes in their squad. The absence of Shikha Pandey and Jemimah Rodrigues is definitely having it's impact as their replacements are extremely inexperienced and/or debutants. If it wasn't clear before, India are nowhere near as good as they were in the last World Cup and if they do fail to make it past the group stage at the World Cup it should not be a surprise in any way. 

Also read: India's biggest takeaways from T20I whitewash over West Indies


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