Former India skipper Anjum Chopra has witnessed the tremendous growth of women’s cricket firsthand. As a talented left-handed batter, she represented India in 157 matches (including 12 Tests, 127 ODIs, and 18 T20Is), with 41 of those matches as captain. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on India’s recent performances against Bangladesh, where they won the T20 series 2-1 and tied the ODIs 1-1 after a tied final game in Mirpur on Saturday. However, the focus was on skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s behavior in the third ODI, where she broke the stumps after being given out and criticized the umpires in the post-match presentation. Chopra addresses Kaur’s conduct as well as the team’s future road to the Hangzhou Asian Games.
When reflecting on Harmanpreet’s actions and words, Chopra believes that she should have been more cautious and selective. While voicing displeasure is acceptable, Chopra emphasizes the importance of timing and choice of words.
The Indian team had concerns about the umpiring decisions during the series. Chopra questions why it came down to the Indian captain expressing her dissatisfaction in the post-match presentation. She suggests that better communication could have resolved the situation rather than taking the issue public.
Chopra acknowledges that the absence of DRS (Decision Review System) in the series could have made a difference, but the technical limitations of the production made it impossible to incorporate DRS.
India’s performance in Bangladesh was inconsistent. Chopra notes that the pitch played a significant role, as a true surface allows for better scores and a balanced contest between bat and ball. However, she does not solely blame the pitch for India’s disappointment.
In terms of the frequent changes in the support staff, Chopra acknowledges the importance of having a settled coach but believes that players should focus on their own performance and preparation rather than worrying about who is leading the team.
Comparing the Ashes to India-Bangladesh, Chopra suggests that a roadmap is needed to address the recurring mistakes. She mentions the lack of a reliable pace-bowling partner for Jhulan Goswami and points out several loose ends in the team’s strategy and utilization of players.
Inconsistency in selection is also a topic of concern. Chopra questions the decision to drop Shikha Pandey and the pattern of reducing players to net bowlers or reserving them for different tournaments. She believes that breaking this pattern is vital for achieving different results.
Looking ahead to the Asian Games, Chopra states that India will face Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. While they may be favorites, she stresses the need to address the evident weaknesses and adapt to the expected slow and low tracks in China.