Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ace Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that the India women team’s top-order batters Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma will be integral to the team’s success in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022.

Smriti (52) and Deepti (40) stitched 92 runs for the third wicket to set the tone for India’s innings against Pakistan. However, both the batters fell in quick succession as Deepti was castled by Nashra Sandhu while attempting to play a sweep shot but missed it and lost her off-stump.

Soon after Deepti’s dismissal, Smriti followed her back in the dugout as she returned a catch to Anam Amin while attempting to play an on-drive shot. India’s innings was resurrected by Pooja Vastrakar (67) and Sneh Rana (53) as they finished with 244/7 on the scoreboard in the first innings.

Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma
Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma. Image: Twitter

Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma are crucial components of our team: Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin believes the pair of Smriti and Deepti will be important for India to score big runs and if they perform consistently then the 2017 World Cup finalists will have better chances of going far in the tournament.

“Both Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma are crucial components of our team. Smriti is a tall, elegant player. She plays in front of the wicket and uses her feet too, whereas Deepti plays the sweep and the cut shot really well,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

“Since both of them are left-handers, they take left-arm spinners out of the equation and these left-arm spinners play a crucial part in this competition. So if this left-hand partnership of Smriti and Deepti gel consistently, then the chances of Team India going deep into the competition is very high,” he further said. 

Meghana Singh has the skills to make early inroads with the new ball: Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin also believes Indian pacer Meghana Singh’s ability to move the ball will be crucial in the latter part of the competition and expects her to deliver under pressure type situations for the team.

“Meghna Singh took the new ball and bowled with great control. She has a sharp, good, bustling action and has a terrific outswinger. I have a feeling that her beautiful swing will play a crucial role when we go deep into the competition,” Ashwin said. 

Meghana Singh
Meghana Singh. Image: Cricket Australia

“She has the skills to make early inroads with the new ball. If she gets the ability to deliver under pressure, she will be the X-factor for India in this competition,” he added. 

India women’s team will face host New Zealand in the next match on (Thursday) March 10 at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Also Read: ICC Women’s World Cup 2022: ‘She Is Just One Big Knock Away’: Jhulan Goswami On Shafali Verma’s Batting Form