Indian women’s team preparation for the forthcoming South Africa tour seems to be on a right track as Mithali Raj and company were spotted taking tips from the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
The Indian women’s team are scheduled to lock horn against the Proteas women in a three-match ODI series, starting on February 5 at Kimberly. The ODI series will be followed by a five-match T20I series, which begins on February 13 at Potchefstroom. The team will depart for South Africa on Wednesday (January 24).
In order to motivate the Indian women's team, Tendulkar gave a pep talk to Mithali Raj’s troops on Monday (January 22). No wonder, the member of Indian women's team were ecstatic after their fruitful session with the Master Blaster.
Addressing the pre-departure media conference on Tuesday (January 23), skipper Mithali Raj said that Sachin’s inspiring words would definitely help the players.
"Talking about the interaction with Sachin (Tendulkar), it was very important for the team as well as the players individually because we got to learn from his vast experience," Mithali told reporters.
"He (Tendulkar) told us how he handled pressure, failure and things like that. It will benefit all the players to handle different situations in their career," she further added.
When asked about the T20 games in South Africa, Mithali said it would help them to prepare for the next edition of Women's T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in West Indies West Indies later this year.
"We were preparing for the World Cup, a one-day format. Once you have a goal and you want to achieve something, your focus is on one format.
"So now it is a start (of) preparation for the T20 World Cup as we are playing five T20 games. Now, we are preparing for T20 World Cup, but it is an ICC Championship as well, so the ODIs are equally important," she said.
Indian women’s team haven’t played a T20 match since December 2016. It is not surprising that Mithali wants her team to improve in the shortest format.
"Yes it's been a while playing T20 format. As an Indian team we are looking forward to T20s and need to work hard in this format," Raj added.
Mithali, who became the talk of the town for her inspiring leadership in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 wherein the Women in Blue have reached the final, also lauded the young Mumbai girl Jemimah Rodrigues.
"Jemimah is a young, talented girl. She scored a lot of runs at the U-19 level as well as the Challengers. She is very promising and as a captain my only wish is that she performs whenever she gets her opportunity for the country and herself. Also, she is a very good fielder. In fact she is amongst the best fielders in the team," concluded the India skipper.
India Women's ODI Squad:
Mithali Raj(c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Smriti Mandhana, Poonam Yadav, Punam Raut, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jemimah Rodrigues, Jhulan Goswami, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Mona Meshram, Pooja Vastrakar, Veda Krishnamurthy, Taniya Bhatia
India Women's T20I Squad:
Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav.