We have a lot of work to do based on our bowling department: Mithali Raj

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India captain Mithali Raj said the Indian team needs to do a lot of work in bowling after they lost nine wickets to Australia in the first women’s ODI on Tuesday.

India’s problems were exposed in both batting and bowling as the strong hosts chased down the target of 226 without any problems.

“Well, look, you have no plans, but again it’s about implementing it on the field. Sometimes the bowlers don’t get the rhythm, but you know they will get the rhythm but the plan doesn’t work,” Mithali told a post-match press conference.

“Yes, we have to do a lot of work in terms of our bowling department, mainly because we have spin bowlers and spin bowlers attacking everywhere, so we have to adapt,” he added.

Only 225 for 8 in an innings, then the Indian team bowled out the target in 41 overs due to lack of ball.

Mithali, who completed 20,000 career runs, lamented that the demolition failed to form a partnership.

“Look, if you know Australia’s (kind of) batting line-up, we were looking at anything close to 250, but we lost two wickets, especially Shafali (Verma) and Smriti (Mandana) in power – play alone …

“So it is important that the middle class starts to make up for it and form a partnership, which is what we did with Yastika (Patiya), but again in the lower-middle we did not get enough partnership.

“We need partnerships now, rather than thinking about playing fearless cricket, we need to develop some partnerships among women that will definitely give them confidence to play fearlessly,” he said.

Speaking on the importance of a good starting position, Mithali said the team would expect some runs from Mandana, who has been playing international cricket for some time.

“I mean, look at the opening alliance, if they give us a good start, the middle order can pick up speed from there, but if you lose the opening wickets, you really have to build an innings.

“In the first 10 overs, you know Smriti (Mandana) was on the international tour for a while, so we expect some runs from her,” Mithali said, adding that the team plans to see all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar. For the World Cup, so it’s important to try her.

In his personal form, Mithali, who scored his fifth consecutive fifty, said, “I have always felt that no matter how many runs I score, there are always some chances for improvement and I want to keep my game.

“I want to develop as a player. I know I’m scoring runs but this is not enough for the team to win, so there is always room for improvement.”

Mithali faced criticism for his strike rate, to which he replied, “Well, for me batting is always about the situation, not about the strike rate.”

Although she wanted to improve this aspect, she insisted that she did not hit her mind while batting.

“On the other hand if you are losing wickets, you definitely do not want to miss out on 150 runs. So, I do not think so much about the strike rate.

“Yeah, improving that aspect is always on my mind. I’m definitely not going to think about it, but when I bat it (that) never crosses my mind.”

Mithali said Harmanpreet Kaur’s fitness team was monitored by the physio. Harmanpreet missed the first game due to a thumb injury.



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