The ICC Women’s World Cup started with a bang for hosts India with a thumping win over the West Indies team. Whether the Indian women will be able to replicate what the men did a couple of years back and win the World Cup remains to be seen, but it won’t be for lack of effort.
From my experience the women work a lot harder than the men and do put in a lot more effort because they want to show that their game should not be scoffed at. They are far more elegant than men and now they also have the power to hit the big shots. They bring a new dimension to the sport and they must be encouraged at all times to develop their game.
India's men get a bit of a breather from international cricket and while it is not known if the coach has gone home or is planning some camps to get the team ready, it is crucial for the team to step up from their performances against England and do better against Australia, who will be without two of their top batsmen Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey who have retired.
That means the Australians will be a bit short on experience as far as playing on Indian pitches is concerned and that is what India needs to capitalise on. Hopefully the matches will start half an hour later since we are now getting into the summer and the light will stay good till quite late in the evening.
The late start will take away most of the advantage of the moisture that is there and it will be that much easier to bat against the new ball. We saw how the Indians struggled against the new ball at Dharamshala where the match started early and not at noon.
The England team have gone on to New Zealand and in a much better frame of mind with a good win in the last one dayer at the beautiful Dharmashala ground. What England will be hoping for is that Ian Bell shows the same kind of consistency that Suresh Raina showed for with all the talent that he has, he has been a bit of an underachiever.
Bell is at the age where batsmen are more mature and can bring in all the experience of having played all over the world and go forward from there. His century made it easy for England to win the final game.
In South Africa, Graeme Smith captains his team for a record 100 time in Tests and keeps going on and on. He has stepped down as the skipper in limited overs cricket and South Africa are struggling to find a player good enough to lead the team with AB de Villiers not quite living up to the expectations and Hashim Amla not being interested in the vice captaincy after being overlooked for the top job.
Ian Bell, for his match winning ton at Dharamshala, is the CEAT International Cricketer of the Week.
Professional Management Group