Mithali Raj won the player of the match award in India Women’s win over South Africa women in the first T20I in Potchefstroom. Raj had scored 54* and strung vital partnerships with Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, and Jemimah Rodrigues.
“It was very important since it’s a preparation for the World T20 (in the West Indies in November 2018),” said Raj after the win. “It’s more than imperative that the girls, the team as a unit, we start preparing in this format. It’s good to start on a winning note because it gives us a lot of confidence getting into the next game.”
Mithali Raj credited youngsters for bringing in energy into the team.
She said, “It’s good to have the youngsters in the squad. Usually when you have a few new members, they get a lot of positive energy into the team and they are quite active on the ground too,” said Raj with a laugh. “So you can get to see that energy being very infectious, it spreads around, and it’s also good to bat with them because then you know that you have partners, like we had with Smriti (Mandhana). Of course she is a seasoned player now, but we have Jemimah, who has just come in, debutant, and she has played a very useful knock for the country.”
The next match in the series will be played at Buffalo Park in East London on Friday (16 February).