“Yastika Bhatia Should Be Playing And Batting Right At The Top And Shafali Verma Should Come In The Middle Order”

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Australia beat India by nine wickets to take a 1-0 series lead in the first T20I at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Friday. Skipper Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney hammered brilliant half-centuries to chase down the target. Tahlia McGrath played a cameo of unbeaten 40 runs off 29 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes.

Earlier, Deepti Sharma smashed an unbeaten 36 off 15 balls to help India reach 172 for the loss of five wickets. Sharma hit four consecutive boundaries in the last over bowled by Megan Schutt to reach a decent total. Richa Ghosh scored 36 runs off 20 balls and put on a 56-run partnership with Devika Vaidya for the fifth wicket.

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Ellyse Perry
Ellyse Perry. Image: ICC

Yastika Bhatia Should Have Opened – Anjum Chopra

Anjum Chopra expressed her disappointment over India Women’s decision to open the batting with Shafali Verma instead of Yastika Bhatia in the first T20I against Australia Women.

“Yastika Bhatia should be playing and batting right at the top. Shafali Verma should come in the middle order. This is not the U19 World Cup, this is senior cricket.”

Anjum Chopra
Image Source – Twitter

“I felt Yastika Bhatia should have opened because she is the in-form player. But it seems the new management wanted to continue with Shafali at the top. There is nothing wrong with it too, but the fact is Yastika did not find a place at all in the playing XI.”

Yastika scored 203 runs in four matches for India D Women at a strike rate of 134.43 in the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy 2022/23.

Timing Was Not Quite There For Both Batters – Anjum Chopra

Chopra commented on India’s batting performance in the first T20I, saying that openers Shafali and Smriti Mandhana showed aggression, but both did not seem to be in a good rhythm. Chopra felt that Harmanpreet Kaur played her trademark style, but was unable to play big innings.

Shafali Verma
Photo credits: Twitter

“Shafali and Smriti were aggressive at the start, as they always are, but the timing was not quite there for both batters. The runs were coming, but we did not see the best of shots.

“Wickets fell one after the other. Jemimah Rodrigues again fell to Ellyse Perry. Harmanpreet Kaur batted in her trademark style, but could not play a big innings,” Chopra maintained.

Also read: Watch: Ishan Kishan Roars Into Celebration After Smashing His Maiden ODI Century

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