Indian women's ODI vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Saturday said the team was lacking match practice and will need time to get back into rhythm after being away from international cricket for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Playing their first international match in 12 months, the Indian women's team suffered an eight-wicket loss in the first ODI at the hands of South Africa to trail the five-match series 0-1.
"We didn't get any international cricket for a year. Apart from three IPL games, we didn't get much time to work as a unit. As a team you need to spend time and get ready for any series," Kaur said at the post-match press conference.
"Nowadays everybody is looking for a big total, every game we want to score more than 250 but for that, you need some time and matches.
"In the past few years we had built a rhythm but we will need time to create that rhythm and next game we will try to do that as a unit," added Kaur, who was playing her 100th ODI.
The Indian team last played on March 8 last year when they lost to Australia in the T20 World Cup final. Additionally, they got only two days of nets before the series, making it tougher for the players to be at their best from the word go which was visible as India struggled with the bat, managing 177 for nine in the designated 50 overs. The 31-year-old conceded that her side was guilty of throwing away their wickets and lacked partnerships with both bat and ball.
"When you are playing after a long time there are chances were you can collapse but they bowled well and we threw our wickets. As a bowling unit, there were no partnerships, you need partnership whether it is bowling or batting," she said.
"Today I felt our bowling was also not up to the mark, our spinners are good but it can happen if you are playing after a long time, sometimes things cannot be in your favour. We had a bad day today, whatever we were doing, we couldn't execute it."