Mithali Raj pleased with the talent India have got for Women’s World Cup 2022

Mithali feels new talents have shown the ability to compete at the highest level.

Indian women's cricket team | GettyIndian captain Mithali Raj is pleased with the performances of youngsters like Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh ahead of the Women’s ODI World Cup, slated to begin on March 4 in New Zealand.

Some new talents were given opportunities in the series against South Africa, England, Australia and New Zealand and Mithali feels they have shown the ability to compete at the highest level.

“The talent that we’ve got in the last year, we’ve tried some young talent in the squad, and most of them have shown that they have the ability to play at this level like Richa (Ghosh), Shafali (Verma), we have Meghna Singh in the seamers, Pooja Vastrakar,” Mithali said on the second day of the captains’ opening media conferences.

“They all have been given good game time and those series have really helped them and me as a captain to find out where they fit in into the composition of the team.

“I definitely know my playing composition for the first couple of games and I look forward to giving game time to all the core players during the warm-up and also to those players who will get opportunity at some point in the world cup.”

According to Mithali, a team needs a perfect blend of experience and youth to do well in mega events.

“We do have an experienced core group from last edition. Most of them, even the young players who recently got into the side, had the opportunity of playing in leagues. That gives them exposure other than bilateral series.”

“When you go into big events you depend on experience not just young players. Having both together is a good mix.”

Mithali Raj, a veteran campaigner, also had a piece of advice for the young players preparing for their maiden World Cup appearance.

“The young talent in the side today, I tell them that you don’t have the experience of the past World Cups, so it’s a clean slate for you, all you have to do is enjoy the big stage,” she said.

“I did have a word with Yastika (Bhatia) the other day, I took her out for a coffee and we’ve spoken quite a bit, she’s a chatty kid and asked me a lot of questions.

“The only advice I would give the young players is enjoy the big stage because if you pile up the pressure you may not be playing the best that the team and you would want to do in the World Cup.”

Considering the fact that the COVID-19 continues to impact cricket globally, the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently announced that the teams at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 will be able to field a side with only nine players if the virus hits any of the squads during the showpiece tournament.

Sharing her thoughts on the same, Mithali said: “I wouldn’t want to give it much thought as I would want my full strength to play but considering the current situation, if at all the situation arises it gives us an opportunity to get a game because every team prepared very hard, it was postponed by a year so it is important to get the event going.”

In the just-concluded five-match ODI series, the Women in Blue escaped a whitewash with a win in the final game by six wickets.

“The win is important for any team which is getting into a big event. The take away definitely is how the batting unit has turned out in each game. The bowling unit took a bit of time,” she said.

“The spinners that we bank on, they do also understand these wickets are batting friendly and they need top tighten up line and lengh and bowl consistently.

“We definitely also look to put more effort on fielding, it is an area we are consistently working on.”

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 26 Feb, 2022

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