Mithali Raj terms Australia series as an eye opener

Mithali Raj believes that the Australia ODI series has been an eye-opener for the hosts.

Australian Women's won the ODI series against India in Vadodara on Sunday | Getty Images

Mithali Raj, captain of the Indian Women's cricket team, on Sunday, urged her side to understand their strengths and make it stronger to overshadow their weakness after their embarrassing whitewash in the  One Day International series against Australia. 

The skipper also admitted that their fast-bowling lacked experience, which was seen during the Australian ODI series, and even they have not batted well in this series. She stressed the need to quickly fix their batting and bowling to win matches against a very good team like Australia and England.

Following eight-wicket, 60-run and 97-run defeats in the three-match ODI series, India conceded all six points of the ICC Women's Championship, while Australia reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the ICC Team Rankings.

As per Cricbuzz, Mithali Raj said, “Our fast-bowling unit lacked experience... and that [reflected] very starkly in these ODIs. When you play against a good side, you don't get anything easy. There is a lot we need to work on, it's been an eye-opener for all the girls.”

She further added, “Even though we have beaten South Africa, it was not going to be easy against Australia, or England, who I believe also have a very good squad. As Indian team, we need to understand our strengths [batting] and make that [department] even stronger [so that] it overshadows the other department that has lackings. [That's something] we couldn't do in these three one-day games. Bowling wasn't supportive, nor did our batting come good. At least one department needs to click.”

On being asked what separated the two teams, Indian batswomen said that not only Australian opener but also their lower order contributing till the end. She added, “In every game, one of their openers have made a major contribution, [and] having said that, even their middle-order didn't pitch in. But they had the lower middle-order contributing till the end. I think that's where we haven't bowled according to the plan that we wanted to execute on the ground. When you set the field on one side and bowl on the other and it's costing you boundaries after boundaries, you can't do much.”

“There were occasions where we were far ahead [in run-rate at the top]. It's only from the power play till the 50th over [where] they have those big hitters, which we don't have in our batting order, [that's making the difference]. We have to start from the beginning to have that net run rate going for us, because we know in lower-order we don't have big-hitters in our side who can change match scenario.”

Raj signed off by saying, “See where the ICC Championship is concerned, the points are very important. But if the points system is not in place on a tour, then we can definitely give more opportunities to the players who have not had a great outing. And definitely [to] young players who we think have the ability to play in future for India.

We want to give them that experience so that whenever they get that opportunity to debut (play big games) for India, they're in a better frame of mind. It will take some time, but we do have few players [waiting] in the wings who we are looking at. In another two-three years, [definitely] by the 2021 World Cup, I'm sure they would be prepared.”


By Rashmi Nanda - 19 Mar, 2018

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