We missed Pooja today: Renuka after India’s defeat against Australia

Renuka Singh Thakur had a dream spell in the Commonwealth Games opener against Australia as she claimed a four-for, but in the end, that was not adequate as the Indian women’s cricket team conceded a three-wicket defeat at Edgbaston.

With Renuka spearheading the pace attack, Australia was reeling at 49 for five while chasing a target of 155, but Ashleigh Gardner rose to the occasion with an unbeaten 52 to guide the Australian team home. While Renuka was disappointed to have lost such a close game, she wants to move on to the next game against Pakistan on Sunday.

“We wanted to win the match and it was definitely in our hands almost till the end. But we only have two fast bowlers now and the wicket is helping the fast bowlers. We missed Pooja (Vastrakar)…” Renuka said in the post-match interaction with the media in Birmingham.

India missed the services of Pooja Vastrakar, who is currently under quarantine in Bengaluru. But in her absence, left-arm spinners Radha Yadav (0-42 in four overs) and Rajeshwari Gayakwad (0-24 in two overs) conceded 66 runs in six overs between them to let the momentum slip.

Talking about her performance, Renuka said, “We were working more on fitness and we had a fitness camp recently and that helped me. We are also planning to hit the hard length and I am benefiting from that. Since I am a swing bowler, I am working on that area. The more I can swing the ball, the better it is…”

“I have worked on my speed and endurance. Those are the two important things for a fast bowler,” she said.

Striking early, Renuka put Australia on the mat and she agreed that the wicket of Alyssa Healy was crucial. “That was a big wicket. We had planned earlier to bowl according to the field placement and we just executed our plans. It boosted my confidence.”

Even though she claimed four wickets, her personal favourite was the length ball which rattled the stumps of Tahlia McGrath.

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