The series, which is now out of their reach, Indian cricket women struggling to organize a cohesive team show, will be proud when they face South African women in the fifth and final One-Day International, here on Wednesday.
With the exception of a convincing nine-wicket victory in the second leg, the Indian women barely fired in unison, while the South Africans, who had already won a 3-1 series, excelled as a team.
To be fair to the home players, they were a bit rusty as they play their first international series in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while South Africa recently beat Pakistan 3-0 at home.
The Indian team also missed the flair of the young Shafali Verma at the top of the order and the experience of Shikha Pandi in the bowling department.
The Indian spinners, apart from Rajeshwari Gayakwad (5 wickets from 4 games), were a big disappointment on the slow tracks and this played a big role in India’s loss in the series when the South Africans chased 249 and 267 in the third and fourth games.
Senior leg Poonam Yadav she has not been able to pass a single test in the four games she has played so far. It remains to be seen whether she will retain her place in the eleven games on Wednesday.
Rhythm veteran Julan Goswami continued to be the chosen Indian bowler as he topped the bowling rankings with eight cassettes from the three games played, but did not receive much support from his colleagues, except for spinner Gayaquad. Goswami did not play in the fourth match.
The dough of the highest order Punam Raut is in sensational form with results 10, 62 did not come out, 77 and 104 did not come out in the four matches.
The 31-year-old who won a top among the Indians would like to continue from where she started in the fourth game, where she hit an undefeated century, even though she lost.
Opener Jemima Rodriguez was also disappointing and she stayed out of the fourth game after results 1, 9 and 0.
Raj, who became the first Indian in cricket and second internationally to reach 10,000 tracks during the series, had scores of 50, 36 and 45 in the three innings she has played so far. In the second match she did not hit.
It is the same with Kaur, who had results 40, 36, 54. She also does not fight in the second match.
After breaking a match that won 80, not in the second match, Mandhana did not do much in the other three matches with scores of 14, 25 and 10. With no pressure in the match, the 24-year-old left hand is due to a big inning.
The South Africans, on the other hand, stood out in teamwork with their batters and bowlers, who performed in unison, except for the second match, where they were blown away by the brilliance of Mandhana and Rout.
For them, the opening woman Latselle Lee was in ominous shape, leading the overall ranking of cotton with 288 runs with results of 83 no, 4, 132 no and 69.
She single-handedly won a rain-darkened third game for South Africa with a sparkling undefeated century. She was supported by Laura Wolvaardt (154 tracks) and Lara Goodall (124).
The songwriter Shabnim Ismail is the best wicket player for the South Africans with seven scalps from four matches – second overall after Goswami.
Indian women: Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur, D Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma (door guard), Vanity Verma, Rada Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Julan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C Prathyusha, Monica Patel.
South African Women: Sune Luus (Captain), Ayabonga Haka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Volvaardt, Trisha Cheti, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizana Cap, Nondumiso Shangasse, Liesel Lee, Aneke Bosch, Fey Tunlancliffe, Dee Tunlancliffe , Tumi Sekuhune.
The match starts at 9:00 IST.