Important to give everybody a go during practice games: Mithali Raj
Christchurch : A confident India skipper Mithali Raj on Saturday stated the importance of giving all members in the squad game time during the warm-up matches of the Women’s Cricket World Cup starting from Sunday. Ahead of their opening match in the World Cup against Pakistan on March 6, India will play two warm-up matches against South Africa and West Indies on Sunday and Tuesday respectively.”I definitely know the combinations that I would field in the first couple of games at least. But I look forward to giving all the co-players game time and the opportunity of a practice game also to those players who I think will probably get an opportunity at some point during the World Cup. So, it’s important to give everybody a go during the practice games,” said Mithali during the captains’ virtual media conference.Mithali, set to make her sixth World Cup appearance, clarified that batter Harmanpreet Kaur will be the vice-captain in the tournament despite all-rounder Deepti Sharma doing those duties in the last two ODIs against New Zealand.”Deepti being picked as the vice-captain was the choice of the selectors and the BCCI. The squad of the World Cup was already announced so Harmanpreet is the vice-captain for the team for the World Cup.”
Mithali further explained about the need of having a mixture of experienced and young players to perform well in big events like the World Cup. “We do have the core group which has experienced from the last edition of the One-day World Cup. Most of the players, including the young players who have got into the side in last couple of series, had the opportunity of playing the leagues. So, that gives them the exposure other than playing the bilateral series.”When you get into a big event like this, you clearly also depend on experience. It’s not just about having young players and having both together, I think it’s a good mixture because the experienced and younger lot who get the freshness into the team also have a different approach. If you have seen the last couple of series like in Australia and even in the recently-concluded bilateral series with New Zealand, the batting department has come good.”The bowlers have taken a little bit of time because it is not easy to find your rhythm when you come out of long quarantine.
We didn’t even have a camp in India due to the rise in cases at that point of time. The series we played and the one we played last year were important to find players and work on the things we wanted to work on as a preparation for the World Cup.”Before the World Cup, India managed to avoid a clean sweep by winning the final ODI against New Zealand at Queenstown by six wickets. Asked about the takeaways from the 4-1 series loss which served as vital preparation for the World Cup, Mithali remarked, “The win is important for any team who is getting into a big event because you take a lot of confidence from winning a game. The takeaway definitely is the way batting unit has turned out in each and every game. The bowling unit took a little time.”The spinners that we bank on as a bowling unit, they do also understand all these wickets are batting friendly and they need to tighten up their line and length. I am sure by the end of the series, they understood the areas where they consistently need to bowl and that has really helped them. We definitely look forward to putting more efforts in the fielding department, that is one area we as a team are constantly have been working on.”