Jhulan Goswami believes that India "need to take up more responsibility" as a bowling unit if they are to save the three-match ODI series against England after going 1-0 down in Bristol on Sunday.
Having posted a below-par 201 for 8 after being put in, India suffered an eight-wicket defeat with England chasing the target down with more than 15 overs to spare. While England's four-pronged pace attack played a crucial part in keeping the visitors in check, Goswami was the only quick to pick up a wicket from the Indian bowling department.
Goswami said the rustiness of other seamers - Shikha Pandey and Pooja Vatsrakar - was the primary reason for their disappointing outing despite conditions assisting the quicks. But she has "full confidence" that both players will bounce back given "a little bit of time."
Pandey was playing an ODI after nearly 18 months and has now gone wicketless in her 20 overs bowled across two matches (one-off Test and an ODI) in England. Allrounder Vastrakar is also on a comeback trail after having last played an ODI in April 2018 before the first match in Bristol. She returned figures of 0 for 23 on Sunday.
"Both of our medium pacers - Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar - and we have another two pacers in the side, all of them are good cricketers," Goswami said on Tuesday, the eve of the second ODI.
"At this moment, Shikha is coming back from a break, she was not there in our last series. Pooja is playing after a long time. They need a little bit of time, and they will do well. They have already proved that they are quality bowlers, they have single-handedly won matches for India.
"When you are making a comeback in international cricket after a long lay-off, it's not about your technical abilities. There will be pressure. It's about how you handle it. I am very confident of our bowling line-up."
India opted for three seamers and two spinners in the first ODI, but they may already be rethinking that. Goswami, though, feels the team "needs to come back strongly as a bowling unit" irrespective of the combination, and not look at individual performances to win the upcoming matches in England.
"Whatever the score is on the board, we need to come back as a unit. It's not about individuals," Goswami, who has 234 wickets in 187 ODIs, said. "We still lack on that front (firing as a unit). We have discussed a lot of things, hopefully, we sort it out and we come back strongly. You have to believe in these bowlers, they are your best bowlers, they have the ability. They have done well in the past, they are coming back after a long haul. We will come back strongly.
"And as a bowling unit, we need to take up more responsibility and perform on the field. As a team, we need to perform well to win the upcoming matches."
India's inability to post a competitive total and minimise their dot-ball percentage also hurt the team immensely after they were handed a thrashing in Bristol. While Raj's 72 off 108 balls was crucial to get them past 200, very few of the line-up have shown the ability to ramp up the scoring rate.
"Whatever the score is on the board, we need to come back as a unit. It's not about individuals."
Goswami believes that it is just a matter of time before the batters, especially the middle order, get into their groove.
"It was just the first match for Shafali (Verma). You are expecting so much from her because that's the impact she has had," Goswami said. "Coming back to Nos. 3, 4 and 5, Punam Raut has plenty of experience. Mithali has been playing for many years and has been very consistent. She batted very well in the series against South Africa and also scored fifty in the first match against England now. We know what Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur) is capable of. They just need one good knock. If we get some runs from the top order, we will be in a better position."