The veteran Indian pacer, Jhulan Goswami believes that given a bit of time, the unit would be back to its best. She also indicated that the management is trying different things to assess what will work for them in the World Cup in New Zealand next year. After the loss in the first ODI against England, Mithali Raj identified the pace attack as an area they need to improve upon. During a virtual press conference ahead of the second ODI on Wednesday (June 30th), Jhulan Goswami mentioned that most of the experienced ones are coming from a back and will need some time to be back in form.
"Both of our medium-pacers Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar and we have another two pacers in the side, Arundhati Reddy and Simran Dil Bahadur, all are very good cricketers. Shikha is coming back from a break. Puja is playing after a long time, coming back to the ODI format. They are quality bowlers. They need a little bit of time, they will do well. They have won matches single-handedly for India. We just need to give them some time, they will come back strongly. I have a lot of confidence in them."
When asked about Harmanpreet Kaur's diminishing returns since moving one position down the order to number five, Goswami didn't give a definitive answer but indicated that a lot of options will be tried out before the World Cup in New Zealand next year.
"Well, we are trying to settle our combination. Prior to the World Cup, we are trying to create a few options. Now which options will click for us, we are just searching for that. Whatever will happen, the management will take a call before the World Cup. Hopefully, in the coming matches, coming series, we will sort out all those things."
India's senior middle-order batters like skipper Mithali Raj, Punam Raut and Deepti Sharma have among the lowest batting strike-rate in Women's ODI cricket. In the first ODI, they did not score off around 180 deliveries which England won by eight wickets chasing a subpar target of 202.
When asked if there is pressure on Mithali and Punam to improve the strike rate, Jhulan said, "At number three we have Punam Raut who has plenty of experience. Mithali and Harman are very experienced too. We just need one good knock from one among the top 3. They will definitely have a great platform. Just these things happen in cricket, everything cannot be a study. Every day is a new day, every day is a new learning experience. One good innings from the top three. Mithali is very consistent. She scored runs in the first ODI as well. Harman(Kaur) needs one good knock, we know Harman can do it. One good knock is required from our middle-order," the 38-year-old seamer said.
Jhulan also believes that as a bowling group, they need to believe in their ability to perform seaming conditions against the aggressive English batters.
"Honestly speaking, we need to come back as a bowling group strongly. We have discussed a lot of things, hopefully, we can sort it out and come back strongly. You have to believe in these bowlers, they are your best bowlers, they have the ability.