After a good start to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022, the Indians were thrashed by England and lost a close game against Australia. They then bowed out of the tournament after a close game against the South Africans.
Although India did not make the semi-finals, there were several positives to take from the tournament. Some players in particular stood out, and the following is a list of my top five Indian performers at the 2022 women’s World Cup.
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Questions were certainly being asked of Harmanpreet Kaur, who came into this particular tournament with poor form. At one point, it seemed like she would do a better job with the ball than the bat.
However, Harman stepped up. She was exceptional with the bat, scoring an incredible 109 off 107 balls against the West Indies and a brilliant 50 against the Aussies. Although India did not make the semis, Harman’s efforts will be much appreciated and similar performances will be expected of her in tours to come.
One of the finest players in world cricket today, Smriti Mandhana had yet another reasonably good tournament. Although she did not compete at the very top for most runs scored in the tournament, she played some wonderful knocks to bring her overall tally to 256. She scored a big hundred against the West Indies and solid fifties against both Pakistan and South Africa.
Much of India’s expectations moving forward rest on the shoulders of Smriti Mandhana. Her ability to put bowlers on the back foot from the get-go is a factor most bowlers fear and will continue to fear in times ahead.
Although she missed out on the tournament’s very first game, Yastika Bhatia has been immense since she broke into the national team XI. Her versatility as a batter allows the team to play others in their desired positions.
Bhatia both opened and played at No. 3 at the World Cup. She also scored a couple of fifties in the tournament against Australia and Bangladesh. She had just one single-digit score at the World Cup, which came against England, a game where most other Indian players had no answers to the English attack either.
Pooja Vastrakar is slowly becoming a mainstay in this Indian side. Not only does she bowl crucial overs after the new ball has been played out, she is also essential to India’s finishing as a batting unit. It must also be noted that she bowls overs at the death, one of the most challenging jobs in the game.
Vastrakar picked up ten wickets at the World Cup. She also comes off the tournament with a fifty to her name, a quickfire 34, and 30. She really is turning out to be a game-changing all-rounder for Team India.
The last player on this list is Sneh Rana, who was primarily brought into the side as an off-spin option. She mainly contributed with the ball throughout the tournament, though she can also perform with the bat when called upon.
Rana scored a total of 101 runs at the tournament. Her primary skill, which is bowling off-breaks, was quite effective as well, as she picked up ten wickets to go with her handy runs at the lower end of the Team India batting lineup.