‘Mithali Raj is India’s best batsman, strike-rate review not counted’

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Former captain Santa Rangasamy says Mithali Raj is not constantly criticized for her strike rate as she is the best player in the Indian women’s cricket team.

Santa, a member of the Apex Council of the BCCI, praised India’s performance in the one-day series in Australia, where they lost 1-2 but fought hard against champion time.

With the win in the third ODI, India won Australia’s record 26 matches.

“She’s the best batsman for India, she’s the best. She knows how to shift gears well and it’s okay if the wickets fall at the other end of the strike rate. She played well in England and in this series,” Santa told PTI.

“Julen was also fantastic against Australia. These two are still playing well (at 38) and age is just a number.

Mithali scored his fifth consecutive fifty at the start of the series, but India lost the match.

Commenting on the team’s performance in the ODIs, Santa said: “It is noteworthy that they fought hard against the best team in the world. India should have won the second ODI as well, but it was a good match.

For Santa, fielding needs a lot of improvement and players need to be more consistent. He also questioned the fitness of T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur as he has been ruled out of the series with a thumb injury.

“She came out of a hundred injured and she was injured during the South Africa series at home before that. If she gets injured she should avoid playing in a foreign league and give priority to playing for India. She needs an attacking player and the team,” Santa said.

“The BCCI may prevent him from playing in the league ahead of important tours like Australia,” he said.

Expect more consistency from former India captain Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandana.

She thinks Richa Ghosh has a lot of work to do in wicket-keeping even though he has been batting in ODIs.

“Yastika Patia was impressed with her first series and should continue. Shafali has to find other ways to score. The bowlers will not give it to her often. The bowlers now know what she wants to bowl,” he said.

Sneha Rana has come across as an all-rounder who puts pressure on Deepti Sharma.

“Deepti is a great choice in Test matches because she has very little play. Sneha has performed very well since coming back and could be the leading spinner in ODIs,” Santa added.



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