Can’t take West Indies lightly: Fields
Senior, Women, International, India, ODI, ICC Women's World Cup 2013, ICC, International Cricket Council, West Indies, MIthali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Mumbai, Brabourne StadiumThe Jodie Fields-led Australian side continued to dominate the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup with a another superb performance. The Australians outplayed Sri Lanka in their Super Six encounter at the Brabourne Stadium today.
The Australian bowlers restricted the Sri Lankan side to 131. The modest target was then chased down with remarkable ease. Speaking about their nine-wicket win, captain Fields said, “We had a really good opening partnership, and that’s something that we had lacked in the earlier stages of the tournament. And then for Rachael Haynes and Jess Cameron to finish off the match in dominating style was good for the game.”
But it was the bowlers and some outstanding fielding that had helped set up the win for the women from Down Under. “I think the bowling and fielding performance of the team throughout the tournament has been one of our strengths. We pride ourselves in being one of the top nations in fielding, and I think we have done that throughout the tournament and it is going to be important leading into the match against West Indies and also after that. We will continue to work on that in training and keep focusing on positives, which is our fielding and bowling,” the skipper said.
Among the bowlers, it was off-spinner Erin Osborne’s three for nine with six maidens in ten overs that stood out. While reflecting on her day in the middle, Osborne credited the seamers for striking early on and putting the team in an advantageous position. “Our seamers did a fantastic job early on, which allowed me to come into the game and find my rhythm,” she said.
Speaking about the Sri Lankan batting, Fields said, “We had discussed a lot about how they have been the standout performer of the tournament. We have really seen great improvements in their bowling and batting and their fielding, and spoke a lot about their energy in the field. [...] I guess we just bowled well today and any team is suspect if you bowl disciplined lines, and for us today we did that.”
The Australian captain had set attacking fields with just two fielders in the deep at times to aid her bowlers as they plotted the Sri Lankan batting collapse. Explaining this move, she said, “I have been quite attacking at times. There was a lot of movement for seamers and turn for spinners, so to have catchers behind the bat is important.”
“We knew that even if there was a small bit of a partnership, we’ll try to have a bowling partnership in the middle and contain the flow of runs. Some of the fours that they scored were just genuine nicks and you can’t just put the field back for genuine nicks. We took the catches and that worked for us in the end.”
Asked if they would be looking to rotate some of their players with a berth in the final almost fixed, Fields said, “I don’t think I will be saying too much about that, but the team that we have been putting on the park in all the matches throughout the tournament has played well and it’s really hard for the four girls sitting on the bench. I know they would be really enthusiastic to play, but one of the big positives of our team throughout this tournament has been that our bench players have been amazing for us and have allowed the girls on the field to play well. And whoever plays against the West Indies, it will be great practice [for them] if we do make the final.”
Talking about the areas they would like to improve in, she said, “We go into the training sessions looking to improve different parts of our game. Leading into the match against the West Indies, we can’t take it lightly. They have some great players such as Deandra Dottin , Stafanie Taylor, who have been firing with the bat.”
Asked whether bowling first at Brabourne is a better option, she said, “I think particularly on this ground it’s been a little bit damp in the morning and [there’s] little bit dew about. So, it really aids the seamers, and Megan Schutt and Julie Hunter took advantage of those conditions today. […] Leading into the match against the West Indies, I am sure that the toss will be important. But we are pretty confident whether we bat or bowl first, we can win the match if we play well.”