One of the first media bytes that emerged in the aftermath of the recent encounter between India women’s team and the West Indies, one that yielded a triumphant win for Mithali’s side, was a reflection on the batting failure of the West Indians.
The big quote highlighted what was but the truth about the manner the second innings, i.e., the Windies chase unfolded. It focused on the inability of the batters to capitalize on the situation.
And in taking cognisance of the West Indies going down, the noted voice elaborated in no uncertain terms the following, “It was always positive (on mood in the camp when Deandra batted). I thought the way the openers went and batted was really good. I just thought that batters just didn’t capitalise on the start, and they fell down.”
Truth is, there would’ve been very few, just about a handful who would’ve thought that the West Indies would bundle out for no more than 162 which is when they were, at one stage, 100 without loss.
Moreover, that was in just twelve overs. While surely the target set by India was a rather daunting one, the Windies women needing 318 for the win, the Caribbean start was typically a flamboyant one.
With Deandra Dottin (62) and Hayley Matthews (43) giving the side a rollicking start, it was up to the rest of the team to contribute and chip in.
Make no mistake.
This wasn’t a lame playing eleven for it featured at number #4, arguably among the finest strokemakers in all of the women’s game.
The runs, if not necessarily, the winning ones, should have come. The big hits should have followed. An experienced campaigner should’ve anchored the fiery side better.
And one reckons that is precisely where Stafanie Taylor, who decried the big loss, failed. It’s where the captain of the team that should’ve, at least, gone down fighting, went down without a fight.
Her contribution with the bat- a solitary run. Hers was a painful stay at the wicket that lasted no more than ten odd deliveries.
Though what was particularly hurting from a West Indian point of view was the fact that Stafanie Taylor’s 1 followed a duck against England.
Moreover, her best from three batting appearances in Women cricket’s premier event, has been a 30 against the White Ferns.
Another lowly outing, one that Windies cannot afford, will mean exactly what Taylor herself rued upon her team’s heavy defeat conceded to India: a massive chance lost!
That’s only because the next contest has the ladies from the Caribbean flexing muscle against easily the most indomitable force in the women’s sphere- Australia.
Any weaknesses from the big three in their order- Dottin, Matthews, Taylor- is something the team simply cannot ill afford.
That being said, the ongoing 2022 edition has seen Stafanie Taylor, 5178 ODI runs, as a rather insipid performer with the bat, one who’s contesting with perhaps unsettled footwork if you’d want to put it like that.
Against New Zealand, she was neither properly on the frontfoot, nor leaning well on the backfoot. Versus India, with the required run rate always being a high climb, she was struggling with the dot balls. That’s not all; against England she walked back after facing no more than a single delivery.
In 2022, she’s doing exactly what she didn’t in the 2017 world cup edition, cricket’s sizzling fest seeing the ever-capable Jamaican dishing out meaty knocks such as her 90 (107) versus Pakistan, a fifty that was struck at the scoring rate of 84.
Just the kind of knock that Stafanie so desperately needs to propel her team and additionally, a lacklustre world cup campaign that’s running on scant numbers.
What she ought to do is to dig deep and perhaps, if possible, relook even at the 2017 games where she wasn’t at her best.
For instance, before being out for 16 against India, she soldiered for seven odd overs, i.e., 42 deliveries.
Will spending time at the crease and taking her own time to get going help- it’s anybody’s call.
What’s working well for Taylor and her team that two of her team’s most resourceful and eminent talents in Dottin and Matthews are in some knick. They’re in fine touch. What’s not going well for the Windies is that their most dependable batswoman has gone rather silent.
Time to make the right noises is now. Never a better way to bounce back to form than to score well against the most challenging of opponents.
And if it helps in anyway, then Stafanie Taylor ought to remember that in the previous world cup, she scored a well-constructed and intelligent 45 off 57 against the Aussies, which was her team’s world cup opener.
Any cricketing pundit will tell you that all it takes to get back into rhythm is one fine knock. So is that coming in the next few hours from now?
Only time and Stafanie’s bat can answer.