Indian ODI captain Mithali Raj has been spotted practicing with her best friend and former international cricketer Nooshin Al Khadeer. Raj had been on a hiatus from training due to the COVID-19 outbreak but was spotted at St. John’s Coaching Foundation in Hyderabad with her coach R.S.R. Murthy and K. John Manoj as the current lockdown restrictions have been eased.
She spoke to SportStar after her recent training session. When asked about her fitness during the lockdown, Mithali said “I struggled a lot during lockdown even though it helped me to work on my fitness, keeping me stronger by working on small things which otherwise I couldn’t have spent enough time during a busy season.”
Speaking about her form, she said “When I resumed training, I thought my bat would be somewhere and the feet somewhere else. But, surprisingly, my body kept up the momentum and I was surprised by the way I was batting in the nets. Perhaps, it had something to do with the way I kept myself fit. There is a lot of clarity to plan my training sessions.”
“I don’t think I am struggling in terms of my strength and ability. Maybe, on the endurance front, I might be lagging a bit behind. But, I can always work on that,” the 37-year-old added
India was scheduled to play England in September, and Mithali is hoping everything goes well and India gets to tour England. She feels that this would be a perfect platform for the girls to get back in the groove and initiate preparatory camps.
Look who is back at the training nets 😃
📸 Credits: v.v. subrahmanyam / Sportstar pic.twitter.com/1wJywa5uJ4
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) June 23, 2020
Mithali also stressed the importance of next year’s Women’s World Cup scheduled to be played in New Zealand.
She said, “The next February’s ODI World Cup in New Zealand should be the biggest event for all of us (women cricketers). Thankfully, it is the safest place right now and sincerely looking forward to it” This World Cup will be Mithali’s sixth one.
Speaking about India’s resurgence in batting quality she said, “Definitely, it is not like as it was in 2017 World Cup when I had to shoulder the complete responsibility.”
When asked about recent 16-year-old wonder kid Shafali Verma, Mithali said the youngster should strike a healthy balance between cricket. She also advised the youngster not to pay attention to social media and external chatter.
Talking about the BCCI’s recent efforts to promote women’s cricket, Raj added, “Definitely, the BCCI is giving the kind of fillip needed to women’s cricket by organizing tours for the India-A and the Emerging Players series as it is doing in men’s cricket. There are a lot more opportunities now,”
Raj also stated that her current goal is to keep scoring runs and obviously bring the World Cup to India. She also concluded saying that she expects ICC to continue to promote women’s cricket the same way after a successful T20 World Cup.