Mithali Raj determined to see India gaining direct entry into the next Women’s World Cup

India is leading 2-0 in the three match WODI series against South Africa.

Smriti Mandhana has hit scores of 84 and 135 in the two WODIS

India’s women team is crushing their opposition, the South African women team, as they handed them their second straight loss in the 3 match WODI series.

India batted first and scored 302/3 on back of Smriti Mandhana’s 135 and fifties from Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy. In return, the Indian bowlers cleaned up the South African batting lineup as Poonam Yadav picked 4 wickets and Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad picked 2 each.

India won the match by 178 runs and also won the 3 match series 2-0, with one match to go.

"It was important for us realising that it was the start of the ICC Championship for India as well as for South Africa after the World Cup," said Indian captain Mithali Raj.

Want to finish 3-0. Still have 2 points to fight for. We won't take them lightly. We would've tried out some youngsters if it was not for the points but knowing that we need to have as many points as we can... because as the runners-up team at the World Cup, for the next World Cup, I would want the team to have direct entry," she added.

Raj also praised Jhulan Goswami saying, "She also, like me, debuted quite early in 2002 and since then we've been together a long time playing for India. She's someone who has really worked hard. Because of her height she gets that lateral move off the wicket which has always been her strong point. Also her high-arm action in getting bounce off the wicket. These wickets are ideal for a fast bowler like her to get wickets."

Jhulan Goswami became the first bowler to pick 200 wickets in WODI

"Good that I could convert last game's 84 to this innings, but I had to start afresh," said Mandhana. "I told myself I had to start from zero. Was even more special because we won the series. Getting the team through and contributing to the team makes me feel very good. Good to be 2-0 up in the series but we're playing for the Championship, so every point matters."

"Always good to have someone like Jhulan di or Mithali di in the team beause they are legends and they keep making us work much more harder and keep the standard high for us. She's a brilliant bowler. I'm nobody to say anything about Jhulan di. Huge congratulations to her. Very happy for her 200th. Hope she can make it 250," Mandhana gushed.

 Dane van Niekerk | Getty

South African captain Dane van Niekerk said "My batters don't want to bat I see, so it's something we need to address very urgently. It's a very quick turnaround for us for the last one and India are showing us how to apply themselves in the middle. Madhana showed it today again. That's what we need in our side too - we need people to put up their hands up. We can't be bowled out in 30 overs."

"As a professional cricketer, you have to be on the ball all the time and you can't come to a very important tour against India and expect things to happen. You have to train even harder. Especially after the World Cup we want to achieve much more than what we did there. This is certainly not the way to go," she added.


By Jatin Sharma - 08 Feb, 2018

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