Women’s ODI Cricket World Cup 2022: Need to be “more consistent” in the work we have done in last 12 months, says India captain Mithali Raj


India skipper Mithali Raj on the need to be “more consistent” in the areas she has worked on over the past 12 months, apart from talking about the scope for improvement in her batting ahead of the Women’s World Cup in March-April. Emphasized. India will play a five-match series against hosts New Zealand from February 11, to kick off “best possible” preparations for the ODI World Cup amid the COVID times. The World Cup will start in the same country from March 4.

India introduced many new faces in England and Australia. Successful comebacks in the team like Meghna Singh, Yastika Bhatia and Richa Ghosh were tried out in those two series.

Top-order batsman Yastika, wicket-keeper batsman Richa and pacer Meghna made their ODI debuts in Down Under and they all made an impact.

Although India lost the three-match series 1-2, they managed to push the mighty Australians to the limit.

Speaking to PTI from Vijayawada, where she is training, Mithali looked at the positives from the two tours and what her side needs to do in New Zealand.

“We will definitely try to fine-tune our combinations and try some compositions for the World Cup (in ODIs against New Zealand) and be a little more consistent in what worked for us last year,” the captain said. After being named Jacob’s Creek brand ambassador.

We have enough firepower in the middle order

India needed more firepower in the middle and lower order, which has been provided by Ghosh and Pooja, while swing bowlers Meghna and the uncapped Renuka Singh are welcome additions to the pace department.

“The lower middle order contributed in Australia and we want it to be a little more consistent. And it definitely shows that they have the ability to contribute and all-rounders like Pooja and Sneh Rana have done well in England and Australia. Is.

“Richa definitely showed that she has the power and ability to make big in the last few overs that we really wanted someone.

“She gives us the batting edge while Tania (Bhatia) has better glove work – it’s good to have good competition for spots and we have a 5-match series to try out combinations.

“Seamer of course (performed well) but a little more work is needed in the spin department but we have that experienced lot,” said the player with the highest run-scorer in 50-over cricket.

India were able to consistently score 250-plus in Australia with the help of the lower order and Mithali feels the contribution becomes even more important against the top teams.

“That’s what I meant in terms of being more consistent in those areas because that’s what will be important in the World Cup when you’re playing good sides. Yes, the top order definitely has to perform.

“But you often see matches that are close, you need those few runs down the order. It has been a great achievement from the Australia series.”

“Have picked areas that I can do better as a batsman”

Star openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma will have to play a big role if India are to do well in the World Cup, while Mithali will be expected to score big runs in the middle order.

The veteran batsman scored four 50-plus scores in six matches in England and Australia, but his strike rate, especially early in the innings, became a topic of discussion.

Mithali said this is the area she has been working on since the Australia series in September.

“There are always areas where as a player you feel you need to work on, no matter how many years you spend at that level. Because always teams and bowlers try to come up with a strategy and you have to It needs to be countered. That is what international cricket is all about.

“There are a few things that I have seen (from my innings) in England and Australia that I can really work on. I reduce the innings I play in the first leg, the middle leg and how I accelerate towards the end. can bring.

“And I’ve seen where I could have done better or what kind of bowlers I could really attack.”

Mithali, however, insisted on playing to her strengths and not seeing what worked for teams like England and Australia.

“Well, yes definitely (needs constant change). The standard in women’s cricket definitely keeps rising. Many times people compare with other teams, but I would say that as an Indian team, We have our own strength.

“If we can stick to that and be more consistent in playing to our strengths and at the same time work on things that require a little bit more growth as a team, than ourselves. More likely to progress rather than try to sort and order. To fit into things where we don’t have players like that yet.”

Women’s cricket in India got a big shot in the arm when the team reached the final in the 2017 edition in England. Aiming to cover the entire distance this time, Mithali said that her team could not have prepared better for this mega event.

On her plans after the World Cup, the 39-year-old Mithali said: “Let’s focus on the World Cup, the next two months are going to be important.”

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The squad had recently held a week long camp in Dehradun to build “team bonding”.

Some activities were also organized to develop the leadership skills of the young players.

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