Mithali Raj believes that the Indian women batters need to concentrate on raising confidence by building partnerships. She said this in the press conference after the 1st ODI against Australia.
The last match of India against Australia resulted in a disastrous loss as Aussie won by a good 9 wickets. Indian somehow scored 225-8 which the hosts easily scored in 41 overs. Mithali Raj said that the team has so much work left in concentrating on partnerships rather than playing “fearless cricket”.
In the post-match press conference, she said, “See, when you know the (kind of) batting line up the Australians have, anything closer to 250, is what we were looking at, but losing two wickets, especially batters like Shafali (Verma) and Smriti (Mandhana) in the power-play itself… So, it was important that the middle-order starts to compensate for that and build a partnership, that is what we did with Yastika (Bhatia), but again we didn’t get enough partnerships in the lower-middle as well.”
She further added, “We need to now have partnerships, rather than thinking about playing fearless cricket, the girls need to get down to developing some partnerships in the middle and that definitely will give them confidence at some point to play fearless.”
Mithila’s thoughts on the bowlers:
She also feels that the bowlers need to focus on their bowling. The Indian bowling line-up mostly has spinners and everything goes down if they are going for runs.
“Well, see, you don’t have plans, but again, it is about executing it on the ground. Sometimes, the bowlers don’t get the rhythm, but there are times when you know they get the rhythm but the plan isn’t working. Yes, we have a lot to work in terms of our bowling department because, predominantly, we are spin attack and spinners are getting hit everywhere, so that is something we need to tweak.”
Mithila spoke on her personal performances:
“I have always felt, no matter how many runs I score, there is always some scope for improvement and I want to keep my game. I want to evolve as a player too, I know that I have been scoring runs but it isn’t enough for the team to win, so there is always room for improvement.”
Previously, she faced criticism for her strike rate which she responded with, “Well, for me batting is always about situation, not about strike rate. If you are losing wickets on the other hand, you definitely don’t want to end up scoring 150 all out. So, I don’t really give that much of a thought to the strike rate.”