Veteran Team India batswoman and the captain of her nation, Mithali Raj has urged the Indian lower-order to make valuable contributions as the ICC World Twenty20 is around the corner. Especially with the World Cup coming up later in the year Mithali wants her team to finetune their skills.
However, she acknowledged the fact that the team has improved by leaps and bounds in the recent. They have some genuine match winners in their ranks.
In the batting department, the workload is mostly divided between Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur.
“I have always felt that the team should not be dependent on one player. A team needs to have at least four-five of them who are match-winners. I can see that we have developed that in our team now,” Mithali was quoted as saying by the Bcci.tv during an exclusive interview.
Their consistent run in the recent past hasn’t really allowed the middle order to test themselves. The lower middle order has been brittle and in case there is a collapse, it remains to be seen how they cope up.
In the third Twenty20, International against the Proteas in Johannesburg India lost their last five wickets for just 14 runs. The Indian colts went on to lose the encounter.
“What needs work on is the lower-order to contribute with the bat. It is not that the [top-order] batters will score the runs in every game. Yes, the top-order needs to score a bulk of the runs but sometimes, the tail needs to contribute more,” Mithali maintained.
“The leading run-getter in the world in ODI’s Mithali also heaped praised on the top order who has more often than not got their team off to steady starts. “We have very good batters for the T20 format. Harman and Veda [Krishnamurthy] can clear the fence. And Smriti has been consistently scoring runs in both formats,” she added.
She further stated that the Indian slow bowlers might have their work cut out in the Caribbean land. She called for the need to have a good mix of players cutting across age groups.
“Youngsters make the dressing room atmosphere lively – experience matters but you need young blood in the squad. Raw talent also helps,” Mithali concluded.
The Indian Women’s team created hype when they were the finalist of the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017. They played a terrific brand of cricket all through the tournament and was in touching distance of their second World Cup title.
Given their terrific performance in the World Cup, Mithali Raj has urged her girls to keep raising the bar so people keep talking about them.
“Since the matches are televised or live streamed, it matters what the kind of standards you set, especially in terms of fielding. It is important every player turn their thoughts more professional,” Mithali observed.
“India faces tougher opponents later in the year “After South Africa, we play Australia and England, who are quality opponents. They have a lot of quality players in their side. Having done well, playing them [Australia and England] is an exciting challenge. It is important that I continue to score runs for the team,” she said.
Important to put our best standard of cricket for people to watch and develop that interest which we had during the World Cup – @M_Raj03, Captain India Women's ODI Team.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) February 21, 2018
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