What a hatrick by Megan Schutt against India Tri-Nation Women’s T20 Series. Poor batting, lackadaisical bowling and, an absolute no show of intent and form meant that India Women’s side bowed out of the tri-series finals also featuring Australia and England of which they are the hosts.
This is particularly shocking because it is the sort of dip in fortune that doesn’t always greet the Indian side. Lest it is forgotten that some of the biggest names in the game happen to represent India at the highest level, including the likes of Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and, Shikha Pandey.
Out of form India Tri-Nation Women’s T20 Series
It must be reminded, that this is nearly the same outfit that thumped the Proteas Women in their previous ODI and T20 tours to South Africa.
In a show of absolute dominance, Australia Women’s continued their upper-hand over their Indian counterparts in clinching another win against India, which also marks their back-to-back victory against Harmanpreet’s side, having only lost to England thus far.
All it took Australia to push India to a state of downward spiral was a record-breaking foot garnered by the Southern Stars sensation, Megan Schutt, who clinched an ecstatic and ultimately, defining hat-trick of the encounter.
Fast and aggressive, doggedly determined and focused, Megan Schutt hardly allowed any soft spots to go through as she walloped the top and middle-order boasting of mighty names like the in-form Smriti Mandhana, ODI captain Mithali Raj and, all-rounder Deepti Sharma.
Megan ‘Schutts’ India
But to say that India Tri-Nation Women’s T20 Series did seem like they were in the contest at any stage would be a gross miscalculation of their abilities today. Ever since poor, tawdry bowling allowed Australia to put up a feisty 186 on the board- never an easy summit to climb- it became clear that India was up against a really onerous challenge.
It’s never to easy to chase nearly nine-and-a-half an over, is it? But that said, India would be thinking hard to understand just what total can ever work for them. Just days before, a seemingly convincing total of 198 didn’t prove enough for India as England’ Wyatt chased it down comfortably firing a brilliant 124.
Today, when the Australian batswomen conjured just a couple of the fifties- with Mooney and Villani striking 71 and 61 respectively- India’s bowling and then subsequent batting let them down. But beyond the gallows of defeat, what would hurt Harmanpreet Kaur and her top batters- Raj, Jemimah and, Deepti Sharma- would the ordinary shot selection that brought about their downfall.
Poor shot selection
Even a lame spectator would suggest that Megan Schutt, despite all that obvious talent is not an impossible bowler to score off. Having Alyssa Healy standing up to the right-arm bowler, someone who’s often an opening new-ball bowler for Australia, says a thing or two about her pace.
But then deep inside, India would be disgruntled at how often and cheekily did their batswomen fiddle with the balls going way outside off stump. Mandhana attempted an attacking stroke and played onto her stumps.
Mithali Raj, you couldn’t believe, attempted a vile stroke to a delivery that was easily a wide had the blade not had come in contact and, last but not the least, Deepti Sharma’s dismissal, in trying for a wild cross-batted strike to a delivery that was anything but a peach inducing a hit summed up India’s dismal performance.
One final shot
It’s one thing to lose. But something quite other to lose by a heavy margin. In T20 cricket, a 36-run loss signals a comprehensive victory for your opponent. What India do have at stake is playing for pride.
With a solitary game left against England, there seems to be a final opportunity to make good for a lost cause in a series where the hosts have been clearly outplayed.
Megan Schutt’s achievement
1. Only six other bowlers before Schutt have gone on to collect a hat-trick in T20 format
2. Scutt’s 3-31 signals the first ever hattrick by an Australian women cricketer in the T20 format.
3. The only other Australian cricketer to have taken a hat-trick is Brett Lee, who did it twice in the ODI format.