‘We need to groom fast bowlers other than Jhulan’: Captain Mithali Raj after 8-Wicket loss in 1st ODI

The Indian women’s cricket team faced an upsetting defeat against the English women on Sunday. It seemed like everything was going downhill for India in the last match, nobody could strike the ball properly, only Mithali Raj managed to get a 50+ score and the total that India set was way too low for an ODI.

England managed to chase the total of 202 in just 34.5 overs, won the match by 8 wickets, and secured the 2 points that were up for the winner of the ODI match.

 

Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver stitch 100+ Run partnership to take 1-0 Series lead in ODIs. PC: Twitter
Tammy Beaumont and Natalie Sciver stitch 100+ Run partnership to take 1-0 Series lead in ODIs. PC: Twitter

 

Talking about the disappointing loss at the post-match virtual press conference, Mithali accepted that both batting and bowling were to be blamed for this below-par performance. In India’s batting inning, we saw a mammoth of 108 dot balls, i.e., 18 overs where no runs were made.

“Yes, we need to look into that aspect and keep on rotating strike. We need our top-5 batters to get runs. We also need to understand that England seamers are very experienced. They know how to bowl in their conditions.”

She also emphasized the importance of grooming young pace talent for India and look beyond Jhulan Goswami, “It puts pressure (on the opposition) if we can get early wickets. If we don’t get wickets from the seamers it puts pressure on the spinners.”

“So, we need to groom fast bowlers other than Jhulan. They should learn how to understand conditions and bowl well accordingly,” she added.

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The Indian batting lineup was unable to rotate the strike which resulted in such a low total. The only person who scored some good runs was Mithali Raj, others couldn’t even middle the ball. The debutant Shafali Varma, who was expected to have a firing ODI debut, couldn’t produce her magic with the bat yesterday.

Mithali Raj in action at 1st ODI vs England. PC: Twitter
Mithali Raj in action at 1st ODI vs England. PC: Twitter

 

Talking about the batting, she said, “Our batting lineup needs to fire at some point. Over the years we are far more comfortable chasing than posting targets. We need to work on that, we need to know how to get 250. But we just can’t go bang bang and lose wickets. We need to know when to push the acceleration and how to get that.”

Mithali also hinted at possible changes in the playing eleven for the second ODI and also said that the management needs to back players in the future during such occasional disappointing performances.

 

England Bowlers were outstanding in 1st ODI vs India. PC: Twitter
England Bowlers were outstanding in 1st ODI vs India. PC: Twitter

 

“It is important to back players, especially those who have done well in the past. Sometimes it is a gamble to play stroke players. But we need to back players to groom them keeping the World Cup in mind. Apart from the captain, coach, and support staff, the selectors also play a big part in that and we are in constant touch with them.”

“We will definitely look into the composition, a little bit shuffle in the batting order to get over the line. When it comes to finishers, we clearly don’t have players for that slot who scored runs at the domestic level. We need to groom someone who shows potential in that area.” she added.

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India will definitely make sure they make a strong comeback in the next ODI to get the 2 points and to keep their hopes of winning this series up alive.

Source: Hindustan Times

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