Inexperience was brought to the fore as Bharati Fulmali (5 off 13) was guilty of wasting the opening three deliveries of the final over before handing Cross her first wicket. @ PTI

After an embarrassing capitulation that saw the Indian women fail to score three runs off the final over of the third T20 International to hand England women a narrow one-run win and a 3-0 series whitewash on Saturday, coach WV Raman has stressed that playing smart and sensible cricket under pressure is the team’s need of the hour. (ALSO READ: England women secure 3-0 sweep after another India choke)

Chasing England’s modest 119 for six, India needed just three runs from the final over with veteran Mithali Raj well-set at 30 off 32 balls, but the ODI skipper was left stranded at the other end and didn’t get an opportunity to face a single delivery in the final over of Kate Cross (2/18).

Inexperience was brought to the fore as Bharati Fulmali (5 off 13) was guilty of wasting the opening three deliveries of the final over before handing Cross her first wicket, a straight forward catch to Anya Shrubsole at mid-off while trying to clear the in-field.

“It’s just that the newcomers getting a little bit of experience to know what to do under a little bit of pressure and challenge. Once that improves, I think it will be a very good situation for us in the future. And as you see, the only way is up. So, I’m not totally either sulking or mourning about it. From here on, the only way is up. That’s the way I’d look at it,” said Raman. (ALSO READ: Our domestic circuit needs to step up: Smriti Mandhana)

He added that Raj was comfortable playing the role needed of an experienced batter in the middle-order, but she didn’t receive the support.

“We had a chat about what is she [Raj] comfortable doing and what suits the side as well. Since Harman [Harmanpreet Kaur] was not here, we needed someone with experience in the middle order. That’s the reason she stuck to her slot at four. Quite obviously, she also needs to be backed up by others. Unfortunately, that kind of support didn’t come. It’s all a case of what a specific player can bring to the table and how it suits the team’s needs. That’s how things will happen.”

Raman reckons that there is scope for improvement as far as skillsets of the team is concerned.

“They have been playing good cricket but in T20 what you need is smart cricket under pressure. Young side, will learn along the way. Even though the scoreline says 3-0, not playing as well as we could, yet it was not a total washout in terms of the way we lost it. That’s heartening,” Raman said. (ALSO READ: Smriti Mandhana: From Sangli to Indian team captain via ICC awards)

“First they need to work a lot on their skills. Once the development in terms of skills happen, then all other things come into play because tactically everybody is aware of what needs to be done, but tactics cannot be executed unless the technical base is good enough,” he added.

Meanwhile, captain Smriti Mandhana heaped praise on the performance of her bowlers during the series. “Definitely, our bowlers were really good. Where I was telling them to bowl or where I was placing the field, they were bowling exactly that. I always feel that a bowler makes the captain look better. So, it is not the other way around,” she said.

Reflecting on her captaincy, she explained: “After the first match, I was nervous, I had to throw that out of my system and I had to concentrate on what I can do better for the team. The last two matches, I thought I was in a better headspace to lead the team. Today our bowlers did brilliantly well. It is just the skill part and mental part that cost us the match,” she said.