February 18 was not at all India's day. Let's talk about each game at a time.
Last Updated: 07.19 AM, Feb 19, 2023
For Indian sports fans, Saturday (February 17) began on a high note with three games to watch. Day 2 of the second Test between India and Australia in Delhi, the Indian women's team taking on England in the group stage of the Women's World Cup 2023, and India taking on China in the semi-finals of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023.
However, it was not at all India's day. Let's talk about each game at a time.
India vs Australia:
Day 2 saw India being saved by Axar Patel and R Ashwin as the lower order batters gave India a little breather but still could not take lead against Australia. The Men in Blue were all out for 262 and gave the Australians a one-run advantage at Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium.
In order to aid India's recovery, Axar hit 74 runs and R Ashwin added 37 runs. However, off-spinner Nathan Lyon claimed his 22nd five-wicket haul, while Matthew Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy also took wickets making things difficult for India.
To add salt to the wound, Australia's ploy of using Travis Head to open the batting seemed to reap rewards, as he played his usual counter-attacking style and got the team's score to 61 after just 12 overs. They had lost only one wicket in Usman Khawaja, who departed for 6, courtesy of Ravindra Jadeja's bowling.
India Women vs England Women:
Many people already had commented on how India has never defeated England in a World Cup. But Renuka Singh (5/15) recorded her best bowling figures in the format after India chose to bowl. While her five-wicket haul gave India hope, Sarah Glenn (2/27 in 4 overs) and Sophie Ecclestone (1/11 in 3 overs) did not allow Indian batters to play their strokes freely.
England scored 151 runs, and Smriti Mandhana's half-century (52 off 41 balls) and Richa Ghosh's entertaining 34-ball 47 were in vain as India lost their ICC Women's T20 World Cup group match by 11 runs on Saturday.
Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023:
While it was known that facing China would be difficult, the surprise came when the Indian single shuttlers did not win their respective games. HS Prannoy, PV Sindhu, and the mixed doubles pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto faced defeats and India had to make an exit at the semi-final.
The biggest surprise came when World No. 9 HS Prannoy was defeated 21-13, 21-16 by World No. 125 Lei Lan Xi. PV Sindhu was defeated by World No. 101 Gao Fang Jie 21-9, 16-21, 21-18 in her match. With these two defeats, India was 2-0 down.
Chirag Shetty and Dhruv Kapila, on the other hand, brought India back into the tie with a 21-19, 21-19 win over the World No. 21 team of He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong.
Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly's women's doubles team defeated Liu Sheng Shu and Tan Ning 21-18, 13-21, 21-19 to tie the match at 2-2.
However, in the final, the mixed doubles team of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Tanisha Crasto was defeated by Jiang Zhen Bang and Wei Yax 21-17, 21-13.
After losing to China 2-3 in the semi-finals at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in the UAE, Team India settled for a historic bronze medal at the Asia Mixed Team Championships 2023.
This was India's first medal at the championship, where the team had previously failed to advance past the quarterfinals.