Mithali Raj, Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team, has urged her teammates to put behind their recent string of poor performances and make a fresh start in Sri Lanka to get ready before the all-important ICC Women’s World T20 2018 to be held in the Caribbean in November.
Team India are set to play a limited-overs series in Sri Lanka this September and Mithali believes that they have to regroup and address a few issues during the series before heading into the World T20 2018.
In June, they failed to win the Women’s Asia Cup title for the first time,losing the title to Bangladesh. Then they were swept 3-0 by Australia at home in three one-day internationals in March and also finished bottom in the triangular T20 series featuring Australia and England in Mumbai.
However, Indian Women’s team have a chance to begin afresh in Sri Lanka under the guidance of new head coach Ramesh Powar, whose experience as a spinner will prove vital to the side, feels Raj.
Raj told The Hindu, “It is important to regroup and get back the confidence again as the T20 World Cup is scheduled in November. In this context, the Sri Lanka series is very important. With the new coach himself being a spinner, I am sure his experience will help our tweakers as we depend heavily on them in all formats. The Sri Lanka series will also be important in terms of knowing where we stand, what is the composition we should have, and accordingly, use these matches to prepare for the World Cup.”
Recently veteran Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami announced her retirement from T20Is last week and there are also question marks over Raj's future. However, she isn't reluctant to give up any sooner.
Mithali signed off by saying, “I would like to continue as long as I am fit and able to contribute to the team. I don’t know really what keeps me going. But, it is obvious that the team needs to be settled. That way, I feel we should not struggle in ODIs. It takes time to find the right combination which can last longer. Probably, till that time I will hold on.”
India will begin their Sri Lanka tour with the first of three ICC Women’s Championship ODIs on 11 September followed by five T20Is against the Islanders.